D-Day anniversary: Winston Churchill makes an appearance in Southwick for village's revival

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‘THE importance Southwick played in winning the war cannot be underestimated. The map room and the library were two of the most iconic places where decisions were made that led to victory,’ Winston Churchill re-enactor Steve McTigue said.

The character, who was playing the wartime leader at the Southwick D-Day revival, said it was an ‘honour’ to be in the village that shaped our history.

Winston Churchill re-enactor Steve McTigue

Winston Churchill re-enactor Steve McTigue

The Churchill lookalike, complete with his cigar, wowed the crowds while stopping and chatting to people.

‘The decision to launch D-Day on June 6 and not June 21 was perhaps the most important decision ever made in our history,’ Steve said.

‘It would have been a disaster with bad weather and our troops not being able to land in Normandy. It was a vital decision taken in Southwick that meant we won the war and are not stood here today speaking German.

‘It is a great privilege to be here and to play Churchill. Without him we would have capitulated and lost the war.’

The NAAFI truck Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080619-45)

The NAAFI truck Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080619-45)

Churchill was among many re-enactors for the second day of the revival event with the village transformed back to 1944.

Soldiers from Britain and the US lined the streets while civilians played their part as they donned 1940s attire.

Steve Haws of the Military Vehicle Trust was dressed as a 101 airborne US soldier with his son Cori, David Jenkins and Paul McGee.

Steve said: ‘This is one of the best events. The village played such an important part in the war and the map room was where all the planning and decisions for D-Day were taken.’

The Five, to Clarendon Rd and South Parade Pier  Picture: Chris Moorhouse           (080619-44)

The Five, to Clarendon Rd and South Parade Pier Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080619-44)

Vintage cars also lined the streets. John Ramplee and Maureen Horne, both 83, enjoyed a cruise in their Austin 7 model RN from 1932. ‘It’s such a special event. It feels like you’re back in the 1940s,’ John said. ‘It’s been super to drive around.’

The Firth family with Steve Bell, left, and John Panter, right          Picture: Chris Moorhouse           (080619-43)

The Firth family with Steve Bell, left, and John Panter, right Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080619-43)

Jane and Ian CookePicture: Chris Moorhouse  (080619-38)

Jane and Ian CookePicture: Chris Moorhouse (080619-38)