DCSIMG

Villagers dig deep and raise £10,000 at their D-Day events

(centre) Major Graham Chetwynd with Ove Jonassen Fundraiser for SSAFA, Southwick villager Martin Bazeley and Gerry Norris Chairman of The D-Day Memorial Hall surrounded by local people on the front lawn of Southwick House


Picture: Malcolm Wells (142223-1789)

(centre) Major Graham Chetwynd with Ove Jonassen Fundraiser for SSAFA, Southwick villager Martin Bazeley and Gerry Norris Chairman of The D-Day Memorial Hall surrounded by local people on the front lawn of Southwick House Picture: Malcolm Wells (142223-1789)

 

VILLAGE spirit shone through as thousands of pounds were raised during events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

All the activities in Southwick were organised by volunteers and a celebration was held on Sunday to thank them.

The village pulled out all the stops to commemorate the date and by doing so raised £10,000, of which £7,500 will go towards the village hall.

Event co-ordinator Martin Bazeley said: ‘Everybody was dressed in 1940s costume and uniform and the whole event was an outstanding success.’

The village played an important part in the events of June 6, 1944 as Southwick House, a Georgian mansion in the village, was the operations centre of the Normandy invasion. The map on which Operation Overlord was charted still remains at the house.

To mark its role in the D-Day landings, in June the entire village was transported back in time to 1944 and visitors could buy tickets to see the original D-Day map room.

Military vehicles of the time were placed around the village and buildings similar to those from the 1940s were set up to complete an authentic experience of life in the Second World War.

Rich Shaw, 32, of Southwick Village Stores, said the village was ‘really buzzing’.

He added: ‘It was such a good vibe. It wasn’t about making money. It was simply about having fun and because of that the money poured in.

‘We couldn’t have done it without the army of volunteers that helped out. Southwick is a magical place.’

The celebration was held on Sunday evening at Southwick House, which is the training centre for The Defence College of Policing and Guarding for the Service Police of the British Armed Forces, to thank the volunteers.

Mr Bazeley, 57, praised all those who took part in the event.

He said: ‘The village came out in force. Everybody was involved whether in a big way or a small way they all played their part.

‘When jobs came up nobody hung back – everybody was prepared to have a go.’

The village raised £10,000 over two days for two charities – The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s’ Families Association (SSAFA) and the Southwick D-Day Memorial Hall.

Mr Bazeley said: ‘It outgrew all our expectations. As often is the case, our careful planning came to fruition in the end.’

Representatives from the two charities were presented with their money at the celebration event.

 

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