The Oxford City Council has defended its D-Day commemorations despite criticism there was not enough scheduled for the 80-year milestone. 

The council helped to organise a memorial service at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and West Oxfordshire District Council - but otherwise highlighted commemorative work done by the Museum of Oxford. 

Oxfordshire County Councillor Eddie Reeves said it was a "shame" that there was not more organised to mark 80 years since the Normandy landings. 

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D-Day - June 6, 1944 - represented the largest sea invasion in history to that point, and proved instrumental in the Allied forces defeating Nazi Germany. 

Councillor Reeves said: "I was surprised not to be invited to any civic events in Oxford to mark the 80th anniversary of such a profound event in our nation's history.

"For a city of Oxford's importance to organise so few, if any, events to mark the occasion with dignity is a great shame.

"It is unhelpful to apportion blame at this stage, but I sincerely hope that Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council will reflect on their efforts, and aim to do better in future years."

Mr Reeves said his experiences growing up had highlighted the importance of the sacrifices made by veterans and others during that period. 

He added: "As someone who was fortunate to spend a lot of time with his grandfather (a veteran of Monte Cassino) growing up, I am still staggered by what a national effort those war years were.

"The collective sacrifice is astonishing and improbable in equal measure.

"It is worthy of recalling at every opportunity.

"We must do so, both for the generation who made that sacrifice and for our younger generations, too, that they should bear witness."

A spokesperson for the Oxford City Council said it did not want to organise events that might clash with the many other activities taking place across the region. 

The spokesperson said: “With limited resources and being mindful we did not want to clash with activities organised by other organisations, our D-Day commemorations focused on work by the Museum of Oxford.

"The Museum held a lunchtime talk on Oxford(shire)’s contribution to D-Day and launched a ‘Home Front in Oxford’ educational workshop for primary schools.”

The Duke of Marlborough and civic dignitaries, including the Lord-Lieutenant, attended the event at Blenheim Palace on the evening of Thursday, June 6, which included speeches and the lighting of the beacon. 

Elsewhere in Oxfordshire, there were community events in Abingdon, Wallingford, Witney, Finmere near Bicester, Harwell near Wantage, Thame, Banbury and Woodstock.