D-Day marked in Wigan

D-Day Festival Parade in Wigan town centre
D-Day Festival Parade in Wigan town centre

D-DAY came alive for a new generation of Wiganers with a special event in the town centre.

The town once again celebrated the courage of the brave soldiers who participated in the Allied landings in Northern France in 1941.

A static Spitfire aircraft from World War Two and military vehicles were proudly displayed in Market Place.

While those with an interest in engineering got the chance for an up close and personal look at one of the famous Griffon aircraft engines, hoisted in a cradle for all to see and marvel at.

Organisers were pleased with the turn out despite the rain and said they hoped the event would help enable the public to appreciate the sacrifice many soldiers made that day.

There was also plenty of opportunity to learn about some of the extraordinary stories of men and women involved in the Second World War as a whole.

The event also featured a parade of veterans headed by a pipe and drum band which was supported by former servicemen across the generations which started at St George’s Church on Water Street before processing up Standishgate to Wigan Parish Church.

The parade was followed by a short ecumenical service of remembrance at the war memorial.

Council cabinet member for leisure and culture Coun Chris Ready said: “It’s important to keep the memories of the battles and sacrifices of our forces alive.

“As the nation waves its patriotic flags over the next few days, it’s right that we should recall the events of D Day.”

Sadly the forbidding inky clouds overhead put paid to hopes for a fly past by one of the few still operational Spitfire aircraft to be based in the North West.