TAUNTON Town Council and other parishes in the area have joined ceremonies to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The events took place yesterday (June 6) at Vivary Park in Taunton and at Maidenbrook Country Park and The Somerset Wood.

A message from Somerset Council read: “Cllr Mike Best, chairman of Somerset Council, placed a wreath at the Normandy Stone in Vivary Park, Taunton, during a service to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944.”

The Mayor of Taunton, Cllr Vanessa Garside, also placed a wreath at the Normandy stone in Vivary Park at 6pm on Thursday 6 June 2024.

A spokesperson for Taunton Town Council said: "Thanks go to all those who attended the wonderful event at Somerset Wood last night to commemorate D-Day and special thanks to those who contributed and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make it the success that it was."

(Image: Somerset Council)

(Image: Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts)

The main event was held from 4pm at Maidenbrook Country Park and The Somerset Wood (TA2 8JT), within the Cheddon Fitzpaine parish, on the boundary of the three parishes, the future home of the Poppy of Honour which were on display at the event.

In order to celebrate the peace and freedom given to us through the bravery and sacrifice of those involved in D-Day, beacons were lit across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.

A firework display started at 9.45pm, bringing the evening to a close.

Before the event, councillor Alan Hall of West Monkton Parish Council said: “We are proud to be partnering with our neighbouring parishes to host such an important event.

“Maidenbrook Country Park and Somerset Wood is the perfect place to bring everyone together to commemorate the sacrifices made 80 years ago to the day.

“The lighting of the beacon is hugely symbolic and it’s an honour to join in with this international undertaking, signifying hope and is a wonderful memory for all of our communities to share.”

Councillor Bev Fernandes, the Armed Forces Champion for Taunton Town Council said: “We were delighted to be approached by West Monkton Parish Council for support with hosting and funding such a historic event.

“Taunton Town Council and the Mayoralty were a signatory to the Poppy of Honour’s assignment to the town in November 2023, when the Council also affirmed its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.

“As a military town, making these types of remembrance celebrations as accessible and engaging as possible for our residents is very important.”