Video and photos: Hundreds of people gather in Banbury to mark 80th anniversary of D-Day

Hundreds of people gathered outside Banbury’s town hall today (Thursday, June 6) to pay their respects to those who made the greatest sacrifice, on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Local dignitaries, primary school children, and residents, as well as members of the Royal British Legion and the emergency services, gathered to watch the flag being raised at 12pm.

From 11.30am the crowds were treated to the sound of local crooner Beau Norton performing a number of songs from the 1940s before the ceremony got underway.

The Deputy Mayor of Banbury, Cllr Kieron Mallon, then started the ceremony by welcoming those in attendance and emphasising the meaning and significance of the day.

Cllr Kieron Mallon said: “We are here not to commemorate war but to commemorate those who fought to stop a war.

"It was people from the Banbury area and people from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who were the first there. They were the airborne troops that took the two bridges that were vital in subsequent days to ensure that the Allies could advance through Europe.

"We look at the War Memorial in People’s Park and in the villages all around Banbury; if it weren’t for those people, we would not have the democracy that we have today, so it's right and fitting that we commemorate the sacrifices that were made by those people to enable us to have a free life today."

This was then followed by a few words and the Lord’s Prayer read by Reverend Serena Tajima and Reverend Sarah Cotterill from St Mary’s Church.

The chair of the Banbury RAF Association Branch, Chris Adams, then read the poem 'Normandy' by Juno Beach landing veteran Cyril Crain.

Buglers from the Banbury branch of the Royal British Legion signalled the start of the two-minute silence at 12:00pm and the Union Jack flag was raised above the town hall.

Proceedings were brought to a close by the High Steward of Banbury, Sir Tony Baldry, who thanked those in attendance before the crowd stood for a rendition of the national anthem.

Those in attendance were also able to enjoy a selection of classic and military vehicles that were displayed along the High Street.