D-Day event at historic coastal WW2 site

Beacons lit at Blyth to commemorate D-Day
A series of beacons in Blyth formed one of a network nationally which were lit at precisely 21.15 BST [BBC]

A coastal battery dating back more than 100 years held a commemorative event for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Blyth Battery, in Northumberland, is the most intact coastal fortification on the North East and Yorkshire coastlines.

An evening of activities on Thursday included a flypast of a vintage plane, a commemorative service and a beacon lighting.

Colin Durward, who chairs Blyth Battery, said it would have been "one of the few" coastal defences still open at the time of D-Day.

"A lot of the soldiers who were stationed at Blyth were sent to Normandy leaving the site reliant on the Home Guard," he added.

"This may be the last big anniversary when those who fought can tell us first-hand what it was like."

One of the replacement guns at Blyth Battery
Two gun emplacements were added during World War Two [Ron Dobson]

Blyth Battery was a World War One coastal artillery battery which was upgraded and re-fitted for World War Two.

Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson said: “It is right the county remembers those whose bravery and sacrifice brought us to the peace we enjoy in this country today."

Two look out towers dating from World War One
A service of commemoration will be held at 20:45 BST [BBC]

He added "a lot of work" had gone into planning the event.

"It’s an opportunity not only to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but also to commemorate all those involved and ensure that the events of D-Day are not forgotten," he said.

A service of commemoration was held at 20:45 BST at the Dave Stephens Centre, with the lighting of the national beacon at 21:15 BST.

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