School pupils will join dignitaries this week as a major ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day is taking place at Botley Cemetery. 

The ceremony on Wednesday (May 15) is designed to engage younger people and inspire them to play their part in marking the sacrifices of the fallen as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) torch of commemoration appears. 

The ceremony at Oxford Botley Cemetery will feature more local stories of D-Day and a torch lighting ceremony representing the importance of younger people taking up the duty of commemoration to keep shared memories of events like D-Day alive.

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Alongside the lord mayor of Oxford and the deputy lord lieutenant of Oxfordshire, pupils from North Hinksey Church of England Primary School, Matthew Arnold School and people from across the wider community in Oxford will come together to mark the occasion.

Wednesday’s ceremony will be a key stop on the CWGC’s torch roadshow, which is reaching hundreds of thousands of people as it crosses the UK to inspire more engagement in younger generations with our shared past.

CWGC’s local public engagement coordinator Will Reid said being involved in organising the ceremony had been a privilege. 

“It is so important that the next generation get the opportunity to discover and learn about the stories of those involved in D-Day and the wider conflict to ensure their legacy is not forgotten," Mr Reid said.

"In the immortal words of John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields, The torch; be yours to hold it high.”