The D-Day landings were delayed by 24 hours in June 1944 because of the weather – but Farnham’s 80th anniversary commemorations went off right on time last Thursday.

The proceedings started at 8am on Castle Street – roughly 80 years ago to the minute when the landings begun – with the town crier reading the D-Day proclamation.

That was followed by the lowering of the standards and a two-minute silence on the spot where the country’s first was held in 1916.

Veterans and current members of the armed forces and cadets were joined by local pupils, Cllr Brodie Mauluka, mayor of Farnham, Deputy Lieutenant Patrick Crowley and Royal British Legion members for an 11am service at the Gostrey Meadow war memorial.

Tears were shed as poems written by pupils were read during the commemoration. Among the poets was Willow Houston from All Saints School in Tilford, whose father, Drew, serves in the Royal Artillery.

 A visibly moved Davey Watters from the RBL said: “This is why we hold these commemorations – so that the next generation does not forget”. 

Wreaths and tributes were laid and the Revd Sandy Clark from The Bourne Parish led prayers.

Many returned to Gostrey Meadow in the evening for a beacon-lighting event and plenty of nostalgic sounds of the 1940s performed by vocalist Jen Merchant and by Farnham Brass Band. 

The BBC Radio broadcast from June 6, 1944, was aired at 9pm before military and uniformed groups marched and performed a guard of honour.

Kevin Sampson of FAOs Musical Theatre Group sang The Shores of Normandy written by folksinger Jim Radford, who was just 15 when he took part in the D-Day landings.

Brigadier Paul Evans OBE read an international tribute and then lit the beacon which blazed while the town crier led a rendition of The National Anthem