The Lamplight of Peace service closed a day of events to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Witney.

Mayor Owen Collins opened the service with the first reading by humanist celebrant Jacqui Dickenson from ‘Battle Diary’ written by Charles Martin, DCM, MM, CM, of the Queens Own Rifles of Canada, her father’s regiment.

Witney Town Band played a medley of marches as cadets from 2120 Witney Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets and Oxfordshire ACF, and Somme Company Army cadets paraded on to Market Square.

Mayor of Witney Owen Collins outside the Corn Exchange  (Image: Witney Town Council)

Cadets read soldiers' stories including the account of Witney’s D-Day veteran Patrick Churchill and his wife Karin who died in 2018. 

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LCpl Adam Cannon 7th Battalion, The Rifles, A Company gave the exhortation: 'They shall not grow old'.

The Last Post was sounded by a bugler and there was a 2-minute silence before Reveille.

The service culminated in the lighting of the Lamplight of Peace, We'll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover before the Mayor read the tribute to all those who lost their lives at home and abroad.

In the morning Witney’s Town Crier proclaimed the nation's official cry from an upstairs window of the Corn Exchange.

There was also free entry to The D-Day Story exhibition in the Gallery Room at the Corn Exchange which explored the story of the landings through documents, pictures and evocative sound bites from the time.

The Big Screen at the Corn Exchange showed The Great Escaper, starring Michael Caine and the late Glenda Jackson.

The 2023 film is based on the true story of veteran Bernard Jordan who absconded from his care home to join other veterans on a beach in Normandy to commemorate the D-Day Landings 70th Anniversary.