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Village History

Pupils in D-Day trip 70 years on

Posted on September 03 2014 at 2:37:43 0 comments

Eleanor with plaque

Although this summer has focused largely on the events of 100 years ago, June 2014 also marked the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in World War Two – and a group from Alvechurch Middle School headed for northern to France to learn more about the operation.

Forty pupils and five teachers visited the area to gain an appreciation of the immensity of Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day.

On June 6, 1944, the Allies stormed five beaches to begin the tremendous battle to regain control of Normandy – and this event, planned with incredible precision and secrecy, marked the beginning of the end of the war.

“Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches, Omaha Cemetery, Caen Memorial Museum and Pegasus Bridge were a few of the fascinating and sobering places on our itinerary,” said visit leader Anne Guest. 

“Pupils and staff alike were awestruck by the bravery and courage of those involved.”

Many pupils have family members with a connection to the D-Day Landings – none more so than Eleanor Bourne, whose great-uncle is commemorated with a plaque at Pegasus Bridge for his role in the astounding glider operation there.

Lt H D Brotheridge of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was the first British soldier to die in action on D-Day, leading his platoon across the bridge.

“There was evidence all around of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and it was a very moving trip for all involved,”  adds Ms Guest.

“Pupils learn a great deal not only about world events, but also their own heritage, and gain a tremendous amount from visiting France.”

In addition to the historical visits, there was some enjoyable R&R to be had in the form of bowling, shopping, speaking French and a visit to a goat farm – always a favourite!

Right: Eleanor Bourne with the plaque to her great-uncle


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