THE CHILDREN of Bere Alston School joined joined in the D-Day 80 commemorations at the village war memorial last Thursday.

They laid a wreath in the village centre at ceremony also attended by Bere Alston Parish Council, villagers and passers-by and military veterans. The children then attended a memorial service led by the Rev Nick Law at Bere Alston Parish Hall where they also learned about the role of US soldiers who took part in D-Day.

School headteacher Gareth Bermister, said: ““The children took part in the village D-Day commemorations, laying a wreath and listening to Major Geoff Sutton, a retired major from the US Army, talk about what the day itself would have been like and how it affected the local parish as well as places and items we can still see around us today.”

Eddie Ember, chair of Bere Alston Royal British Legion, organised the events. He said: “There was a very good turnout by the parish council, and the public and the school, while veterans were on parade from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment. It was a sombre and respectful occasion of reflection at the memorial. The children were then really attentive at the talk by Major Geoff Sutton, US Army (retired) who served in Iraq. He told the children how the US D-Day forces billeted in Bere Alston and deployed to Normandy from Saltash. The children really soaked it all up and asked some really mature questions afterwards.”

Eddie, a former firefighter and veteran Royal Navy marine engineer who has served worldwide on warships, also thanked the many volunteers who provided refreshments at the hall.

Bere Alston Academy D-Day 80  wreath laid by pupils at the village memorial.
Bere Alston Academy D-Day 80 wreath laid by pupils at the village memorial. (Submitted)