D-Day 80 - Tavistock Commemorations

6th June 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day and will see several events hosted throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, including the lighting of the international 80th Anniversary Beacon which will be lit at 9.15pm on His Majesty’s Naval Base, Portsmouth. It is a significant occasion to commemorate the sacrifices made and celebrate the years of peace resulting from those tremendous efforts.
 
Tavistock has a special connection with the D-Day landings as American soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division of the US Army were based at Abbotsfield Hall and they used their base here to prepare for the military manoeuvre. The 29th Infantry Division left Tavistock for Europe in late May 1944, landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy as part of the operation to re-capture mainland Europe from German Occupation on the 6th June.
 
The D-Day 80 commemorations on 6th June start with the worldwide Proclamation by Town Criers at 8am - Paul Blowey, on behalf of Tavistock's Town Crier, will deliver the D-Day 80 Proclamation at 8am on Bedford Square, Tavistock. 
 
Commemorations will draw to a close with Tavistock Town Council lighting the Town’s Beacon of Peace on Whitchurch Down (by the Pimple) at 9:15pm.
 
Members of the public are invited to join us as we pay tribute to all those who took part in D-Day, the largest naval, air and land operation in history.
 
Key Times:
  • 8am – D-Day 80 Proclamation on Bedford Square
  • 11am – Wreath Laying Service at War Memorial - the Tavistock branch of the Royal British Legion will be laying a wreath to mark the sacrifice of all involved
  • 6:30pm - Church bells all over the country will ring out at 6.30pm and the bells of St Eustachius’, Tavistock, will be amongst them
  • 9:15pm – D-Day 80 Beacon of Peace on Whitchurch Down

To mark the anniversary Tavistock Museum has a new exhibition this year which explores Tavistock’s involvement in the historic invasion.