Sir Winston Churchill's great grandson to visit Harrogate district as part of D Day 80th anniversary events

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People across the Harrogate district are to remember those who lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy on the 80th anniversary of D Day this week – with Sir Winston Churchill’s great grandson attending a special event in Ripon.

Members of the Royal British Legion and the armed forces will be present at anniversary events in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon on Thursday, June 6, eight decades to the day since the launch of the Allied invasion to reclaim Europe from Nazi Germany.

In Harrogate, The Royal British Legion are set to hold a short dedication at the Harrogate War memorial in the town centre at 11am.

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Although it is believed there are now no remaining D Day veterans in Harrogate to witness the commemorative events to mark their heroism in the Second World War, pupils at a Harrogate school did recently receive a visit from York's only remaining D-Day veteran Ken Cooke, 98.

Harrogate youngsters from Willow Tree Community Primary School listen to York's remaining D-Day veteran Ken Cooke at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate,. (Picture Tony Johnson)Harrogate youngsters from Willow Tree Community Primary School listen to York's remaining D-Day veteran Ken Cooke at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate,. (Picture Tony Johnson)
Harrogate youngsters from Willow Tree Community Primary School listen to York's remaining D-Day veteran Ken Cooke at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate,. (Picture Tony Johnson)

The youngsters from Willow Tree Community Primary School listened to Mr Cooke’s memories of the momentous day in June 1944.

They also accompanied the war veteran to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate as part of the CWGC 'Lighting Their Legacy' torch roadshow event series held across the country.

Meanwhile, Harrogate resident Jan Gleaves has been following the route late grandfather Larry Lawler took on D-Day when he landed on Sword Beach at Hermanville-sur Mer as a tank driver in the Westminster Dragoons.

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Knaresborough has an entire day of events on June 6 to commemorate D Day.

Harrogate resident Jan Gleaves following the route her late grandfather Larry Lawler took on D-Day as a tank driver in the Allied Invasion in 1944. (Picture contributed)Harrogate resident Jan Gleaves following the route her late grandfather Larry Lawler took on D-Day as a tank driver in the Allied Invasion in 1944. (Picture contributed)
Harrogate resident Jan Gleaves following the route her late grandfather Larry Lawler took on D-Day as a tank driver in the Allied Invasion in 1944. (Picture contributed)

Town Crier Mark Hunter is to join town criers around the world in reading the D Day 80 Proclamation at The Market Cross at 8am and noon.

At 7pm there will be a D Day commemoration event in Knaresborough Castle Grounds, where people are invited to bring a fish n chip supper and listen to Knaresborough Silver Band.

Local fish n chip shops will be offering 'D Day deals' and 'Wartime menus'.

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That will be followed at 8pm by an event featuring the Sea Cadets, the Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps will march to the War Memorial.

Knaresborough Town Crier Mark Hunter will join town criers around the world in reading the D Day 80 Proclamation on June 6, 2024. (Picture contributed).Knaresborough Town Crier Mark Hunter will join town criers around the world in reading the D Day 80 Proclamation on June 6, 2024. (Picture contributed).
Knaresborough Town Crier Mark Hunter will join town criers around the world in reading the D Day 80 Proclamation on June 6, 2024. (Picture contributed).

8.45pm will see a Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial led by the Rev Garry Hinchcliffe.The day will end at 9pm with an International Tribute and the lighting of the beacon at the War Memorial.

Ripon will see an anniversary charity concert taking place at Ripon Cathedral at 7pm with The Ripon City Band, The Duchy Belles, The Dishforth Military Wives Choir, and Charlotte Potter.

At 9pm, Jack Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill’s great grandson, will be lighting the beacon on the city’s behalf.

The lighting will be live-streamed into the Cathedral during the concert.