Election campaigning stopped to honour D-Day heroes

D-Day 80 memorial service at Saltash Passage
-Credit: (Image: Clare Ainsworth)


Politicians took a step back from campaigning this week to attend D-Day services, including the Plymouth event at Saltash Passage. Labour candidates Luke Pollard and Fred Thomas, as well as Conservative Johnny Mercer, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, were all in attendance.

Mr Thomas, the Labour candidate for Moor View and a former Royal Marines Captain, said he was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder in commemoration and remember the brave souls who fought for our freedom.

Mr Thomas said: "D-Day is a time to remember the brave men and women who set aside their own lives and fought to ensure that Europe could be free from a tyrant’s grip. That is why it was important to take a moment to step back from the busy campaign trail to reflect, and honour the ultimate sacrifice made by my fellow service men and women.

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"As we get further away from D-Day, it’s more important than ever we remember and learn.

Labour candidate for Plymouth Moor View, Fred Thomas at the D-Day thanksgiving service at Saltash Passage chatting with Plymouth Labour councillor Sally Haydon
Labour candidate for Plymouth Moor View, Fred Thomas at the D-Day thanksgiving service at Saltash Passage chatting with Plymouth Labour councillor Sally Haydon

"It is a day to come together to respect and honour the memory of fallen comrades who paid the ultimate price so we could be free."

Saltash passage has its own close ties with D-Day, as 80 years ago, British and American forces set off from Saltash Passage to join the 156,000 allied forces massing off the coast of Normandy in their bid to liberate Europe. One of those who watched them head off was one of Plymouth's favourite daughters, Dr Suzanne Sparrow who was a Royal Navy coxswain despite being a teenager at the time.

Posting on Twitter, Johnny Mercer said he had enjoyed spending time chatting to attendees at the event.

He said: "15,000 Americans boarded their landing craft from Plymouth and landed in Normandy. This morning we paused to remember them and their awesome sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today."

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