D-Day Commemoration

DDay14062014223To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings the Village Hall and St. Nicholas Church Committees decided to hold a joint commemoration and fete  on Saturday, 14th June 2014.

A timetable of events was drawn up commencing with a walk around the village to visit 3 WWII  aircraft crash sites, to learn from local historians about the planes and crew and culminating with an evening dance with music and dance routines performed by Leenie Jayne and the Blitz Dancers.

The day commenced at 10.10 a.m. with about 30 villagers walking around the 3 WWII aircraft crash sites conducted by Ken Clark with talks and anecdotes being given by Peter Hall and John Williams, combined with a static display set up by Gerry Wright.  See Ken’s full report entitled Ken’s Walk 2014 at this link.

The Church Fete commenced at 11.30 a.m. in the Grounds of St. Georges Hall with visitors encouraged to dress in the style of the 1940’s. The weather kept dry for most of the day and the crowds enjoyed the music and dancing provided by the Blitz Dancers, as well as all the games and stalls on the lawn. Among the prize winners Don Wilkinson proved to be the Champion ‘Welly Wanger’ and Louis Ashcroft won ‘Bowling for a Pig’.  The fete proved extremely successful and raised £1,634.00, a record for this event.

There was a static display of 1940’s memorabilia in the Village Hall and WWII vehicles outside.

At 3.00 p.m. in the Village Hall Roy Knight, Glatton’s own D-Day Veteran, gave a talk about his experiences during the WWII entitled ‘From Civilian to Sailor’.

Following which Peter Hall gave a talk about life in Glatton and the surrounding villages during that time.

At the conclusion of the talks we reverted to the grounds of St. Georges Hall for a memorial service conducted by the Reverend Rosie Ward.  There was a reading by John Scorer from Romans 8:31-39.  This was the same reading that Prince Charles read at the service on D-Day in France.  Two hymns were sung and Roy Knight read an extract from ‘Ode of Remembrance’ :

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

This was followed by a minutes silence at the conclusion of which, to his surprise, Roy Knight was presented with a Commemoration Medal by Dave Burrows, with the inscription around the edge ‘Sub-Lieut. Roy Knight, RN Reserve’.

Glatton_UK_4-20-44At 7.00 p.m. in the Addison Arms glasses were raised in memory of Clarence Ray, an American Air Force airman  stationed locally.
Mike Soulsby, Mine Host at the Addison Arms, was contacted from Las Vegas by Clarence Vayne Ray, nephew of Clarence Ray, after whom he is named, asking that every year on the 14th June a toast be drunk to his Uncle. Clarence Vayne Ray kindly transferred a donation for this ongoing tribute.
Clarence Ray, at the age of 22, was stationed at Glatton Airfield as a member of 457 Squadron with the United Sates Air Force. He left in his B17 Bomber the 14th June 1944 on a mission to France but tragically never returned. In the photograph Clarence Ray is in the top row on the far right. Vayne Ray writes :see attached information.

At 7.30 p.m. the dancing began in the Village Hall for those still standing, the bar supplying extra stamina!
Music and dance routines were performed by Leenie Jayne and the Blitz Dancers and a great swing session, 1940’s style, encouraged everyone to join in.
Tammera (Tammy) Countryman, an American resident currently living in Glatton, kindly donated a plaque to commemorate the D-Day landings.   This was unveiled by Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Whitehill from USAF Alconbury. The plaque read:

70th Anniversary
6th June 1944
USAAF 8th Air Force 457th
Bomber Group Glatton
21st January 1944
Lest we Forget.


Thanks to some very hard work by the combined committees, the generosity of David Beale who supplied the printing and posters free of charge,  the day proved to be both memorable and poignant.

We will never forget the brave men and women who fought and died on our behalf, which enables us to enjoy another very special Glatton day.

In creation of this page special thanks go to:
Terry Brignall (Photography and input)
Ken Clarke
Shirley Dewar
Vayne Ray
Mick Soulsby
Rosie Ward.

Photos taken on the day can also be seen on the “Glatton Village” Facebook page.

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