A VILLAGE publican is staging a community memorial event to mark the D-Day 80 anniversary.

Phil Hockin, licensee of the Fox & Grapes in Lifton, and his wife Linda Wonnacott, are hoping for a big attendance to say thank you to military personnel who took part in the massive naval, air and land landings on the coast of Normandy.

The event on Saturday and Sunday (June 8 and 9) include a religious remembrance service (with bugler playing the Last Post and reveille), static military vehicles and classic cars on display, a live gun-firing demonstration, live music will be performed by Launceston Town Band and and evening Forties dancing session will be accompanied by Five Star Swing playing Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn and more contemporary music.

The highlight is the landing of a helicopter. Although no timings are known yet, the non-operational yellow RAF air-sea rescue aircraft is due to land in a nearby field and will be open for people to look at at close-quarters in the afternoon on Saturday. The helicopter belongs to Andrew Whitehouse who owns a collection of historic helicopters in Somerset.

Guests will include serving military personnel expected to wear their uniforms for the event which aims to remember and celebrate the lives of those served and either sacrifice their lives or survived the invasion of northern France beaches 80 years ago to liberate France.

Phil has only been in the pub since 2022 and last year he staged his first D-Day event: “It became effectively a trial run for this year and was so popular for villagers and exhibitors, that I was confident it would be a fitting event for the eightieth. I have a small army of friends and villagers helping me this time because it’s a big event for a significant anniversary for a pivotal moment in history. I’m confident that it will appeal to a wide range of people. So families can bring their children and enjoy seeing the helicopter in the air and on the ground. It’s all free apart from the evening dancing, which can be booked or you can just turn up.”