Following events around the world last week to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Normandy Veterans’, Sheffield Branch, strongly supported by Sheffield City Council, will be holding a Commemorative Parade and Drumhead Service featuring a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at Norfolk Heritage Park on Saturday 15 June.

A ceremony was held on the anniversary last week at the Normandy Veterans’ dedicated Memorial in Sheffield’s Weston Park.

Saturday’s ceremony has been timed a week after the anniversary to allow Veterans from across the North of England to attend, a number of whom travelled to Normandy on the actual anniversary last week.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council said: “It was an honour to stand side-by-side with Sheffield’s Normandy Veterans at the ceremony in Weston Park on the 75th Anniversary last week.

“We have been working closely with the Normandy Veterans’, Sheffield Branch not only to create a lasting memorial in Weston Park but to strongly support their Commemorative Parade and Drumhead Service, featuring the BBMF flypast in Norfolk Park. The Normandy Veterans have been keen to invite their comrades in arms from across the North of England to join in this special moment, and it is our privilege to honour them all as we come together to remember those who fought so fiercely to ensure our continuing peace and freedom.”

The Nottingham Band of The Royal Engineers and Kevin Costello from the City of Sheffield Pipe Band will begin playing from 11.00 am, followed by a Commemorative Parade begin to form up around 12.15 pm. A Drumhead Service will follow.

During the Drumhead Service, wreaths will be laid by HM Lord-Lieutenant Andrew Coombe; Gordon Drabble LH & Graham Askham (Normandy Veterans’, Sheffield Branch); Major General Neil Sexton; Jeremy Burton DL (France); Ian Stewart CM (Canada); Jack Orchel (Poland); Rosemary Guarrant (USA)

After the service, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will overfly over the park and circle Sheffield city centre. This is currently timed for at 1.32 pm. The Parade will dismiss and the Veterans will depart the Park from 1.45 pm.

Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Tony Downing will be joined by Leader Councillor Julie Dore, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure Councillor Mary Lea, Sheffield’s Military Champion Councillor Tony Damms and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety Councillor Paul Wood.

The event is open to everyone and free to attend. Normal entrances and exits in and out of Norfolk Heritage Park will be open.

Norfolk Park car park will be reserved for travelling Veterans, invited guests and key personnel. Parking will not be available around the park.

People are advised to plan journeys in advance, allowing plenty of time and to travel by public transport or on foot where possible. Several bus routes and Stagecoach Supertram pass closely to the park.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is expected to approach Norfolk Park from the south east of Sheffield flying over The Manor. The aircraft will then circle above the city centre and depart to the north en route to Wentworth.

Cllr Lea added: “If you’re coming along please plan ahead and take public transport as we expect it will be busy and parking is not available. We want this to be an enjoyable occasion for everyone, particularly our local and visiting Veterans and I hope many Sheffielders will join us as we pay our respects and remember.”

Those not attending the service in Norfolk Park should still be able to get a good view of the aircraft from the city centre, Manor Park and Parkwood Springs plus other locations.

The precise timing of events is predicated upon the availability of the BBMF Lancaster, which has been grounded for some time to allow essential servicing and maintenance to be conducted. The aircraft has now been declared fit to fly, and it is anticipated to be available to display for our benefit on Saturday – subject to the weather.

Those attending Norfolk Heritage Park on the day for other reasons should be aware that it will be very busy and access may be more difficult.

 

ON THE DAY

The service takes place in Norfolk Heritage Park, Sheffield – at the top of the hill by Centre in the Park

The event is open to everyone and free to attend.

Normal entrances and exits in and out of Norfolk Heritage Park will be open.

Timings:

  • From 11.00 am – The Nottingham Band of The Royal Engineers & Kevin Costello from the City of Sheffield Pipe Band will play
  • From 12.15 pm – The Commemorative Parade will form up
  • 12:50 pm – March On
  • 12.55 pm – Drumhead Service
  • 1.32 pm – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypast
  • 1.45 pm – Dismissal of Parade and departure of Veterans
  • By 2:00 pm – Veterans depart

Wreaths will be laid to commemorate the fallen from the UK, Canada, France, Poland and USA – the five allied nations that contributed substantial forces in the Normandy Campaign (6 June – 20 August 1944).

People are requested not to bring wreaths to this event; such may be laid by the Oak Tree in Weston Park, furnished by Sheffield City Council to commemorate those from the region who served in Normandy. This memorial lies in adjacent to the tennis courts by the Winter Street entrance.

Plan your journey

Norfolk Park car park will be reserved for travelling veterans, service personnel and invited guests. Parking around the park will not be available.

People are advised to plan journeys in advance, allowing plenty of time and to travel by public transport or on foot where possible. Several bus routes and Stagecoach Supertram pass closely to the park.

Those attending Norfolk Heritage Park on the day for other reasons should be aware that it will be very busy and access may be more difficult.

Vantage points and potential route

The precise timing of events is predicated upon the availability of the BBMF Lancaster, which has been grounded for some time to allow essential servicing and maintenance to be conducted. The aircraft has now been declared fit to fly, and it is anticipated to be available to display on Saturday.

The flight path of the Lancaster Bomber is expected to approach Norfolk Park from the south east of Sheffield flying over The Manor. It will then circle above the city centre and depart to the north en route to Wentworth.

Those not attending the service in Norfolk Park should still be able to get a good view of the aircraft from various locations across Sheffield along the route.

Some good vantage points will include the city centre, Manor Park, Parkwood Springs.

People are encouraged to capture and share the event and flyover on social media, using the hashtags #DDay75 and #sheffieldflypast.

The flypast will be subject to operational and prevailing weather conditions.

Cllr Lea added: “If you’re coming along please plan ahead and take public transport as we expect it will be busy and parking is not available. We want this to be an enjoyable occasion for everyone, particularly our local and visiting veterans and I hope many Sheffielders will join us as we pay our respects and remember.”

MEMORIAL

Sheffield City Council recently furnished a Memorial Stone and Bench to complement the English Oak tree planted in Weston Park last November in honour of those who fought in France in the months following D-Day.

The granite stone is inscribed ‘In memory of all those from the Sheffield region who served in the Normandy campaign June to August 1944.’

Carved in to the memorial bench are the words ‘Dedicated to the Normandy Veterans, Sheffield and District, We will remember them’.

The Normandy Campaign was particularly savage; on the 6 June alone, some 3,000 British personnel were killed, wounded, or declared missing – including 650 from the Sixth Airborne Division. On Juno Beach, the Canadians sustained 946 casualties of whom a third were killed on that one day.

FURTHER EVENTS

Sheffield will again proudly celebrate and remember its military forces on Saturday 22 June as events take place for Armed Forces and Veterans Day.

As well as honouring the fallen and its veterans, the city will also host the Invictus UK Trails, in support of all the ex-service men and women who have been wounded, injured or are sick as a result of their time in combat.

The Trials plus a whole programme of sporting and cultural events take place from 22-26 July at various venues across the city. More information is available at http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/visit/invictusuktrialssheffield2019