Commemorating 80th anniversary of D-Day across Essex

Statue of soldiers landing on D-Day.

Over 150,000 brave soldiers launched the largest ever naval, air and land operation 80 years ago.

D-Day was a turning point in World War II. The sacrifices made saw Allied forces break through occupied Europe and change the course of history.

Soldiers, vehicles and equipment were loaded onto ships and crafts from the Tilbury Docks here in Essex.

Our very own Essex Regiment was ready to land on Gold Beach, four years after evacuating Dunkirk. In that time, it had joined the 2nd Battalion, which received large drafts of soldiers to bring it up to strength.

The bolstered battalion fought its way up Gold Beach and through the Battle for Caen, gaining crucial control of the city.

It fought bravely in the Second Battle of Arnhem - also called Operation Anger - and helped successfully liberate the city in 1945.

By the end of the war, the 2nd Battalion had suffered over 804 men killed, wounded or missing.

A number of events are being held across Essex this year to remember those who fought and gave their lives. Join us in paying tribute to the heroes of D-Day:


Event Location Date and time
D-Day dance with The Galaxy Big Band   Finchingfield Village Hall (tickets available by calling 01376 810 051) 7:30pm to 11pm, Saturday 8 June
Royal British Legion light the D-Day beacon, followed by fish-and-chip supper and group singing The Swan Pub, 1 The Street, Rayne 7pm to 8pm, Thursday 6 June
Braintree Male Voice Choir singalong with a national tribute to the Royal British Legion The Swan Pub, 1 The Street, Rayne 8pm to 9:15pm, Thursday 6 June
Wreath laying Finchingfield War Memorial, Finchingfield Green 9am, Thursday 6 June


Event Location Date and time
Commemoration with parade and lighting of the beacon Channels Park 7pm, Thursday 6 June


Event Location Date and time
D-Day service by the Clacton Royal British Legion Garden of Remembrance and War Memorial 11:00am, Thursday 6 June
“Thanks for the memories” production Princess Theatre 2pm, Tuesday 11 June


Event Location Date and time
Raising of the D-Day 80th anniversary Flag of Peace with Town Crier proclamation Colchester Town Hall steps 10:00am, Thursday 6 June
Commemorative service with Colchester Garrison Colchester War Memorial 12:30pm, Thursday 6 June
Civic reception with procession to Castle Park and lighting of the beacon Colchester Town Hall and Castle Park 8:00pm and 9:15pm, Thursday 6 June


Event Location Date and time
The Frying Squad picnic with the Royal British Legion Halstead Recreation Ground 6pm, Thursday 6 June
The Vintage Singer Halstead Royal British Legion Club 8pm, Saturday 8 June
Wartime singing and lighting the commemorative lantern Colne View Care Home, Dame Mary Walk, Colchester Road 12pm to 4pm, Thursday 6 June


Event Location Date and time
Harlow Remembers D-Day - proclamation read with poetry Civic Centre 8:15am, Thursday 6 June
Harlow Remembers D-Day - celebrations with live entertainment and food vendors Playhouse Square 5pm to 9:30pm, Thursday 6 June


Event Location Date and time
Lighting of the D-Day beacon service Promenade Park 8:45pm, Thursday 6 June
D-Day Remembered memorabilia St Andrew’s Church Hall, Althorne 11am to 4pm, Saturday 8 June

Saffron Walden

Event Location Date and time
Town Crier’s Proclamation and wreath-laying with the Royal British Legion The War Memorial 8am, Thursday 6 June
Group Battle Physical Training Session The Common 12pm to 12:45pm, Thursday 6 June
The Great Escape pop-up cinema Saffron Walden Town Hall 1pm, Thursday 6 June
Lighting the D-Day beacon The Turf Maze, The Common 8:30pm, Thursday 6 June


Event Location Date and time
Procession led by the Caledonian Pipe Band then lighting the D-Day beacon Start at The Avenue and finish at the Chipping Hill Bridge 8:00pm to 9:15pm, Thursday 6 June