A forgotten memorial plaque to be unveiled at Normandy Crescent to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Published: Tuesday, 4th June 2019

After fifty years, a forgotten memorial plaque will be unveiled on Thursday 6 June 2019, at 3.30pm, 2 Normandy Crescent, Cowley, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons, and Councillors Pat Kennedy and Ben Lloyd-Shogbesan, ward councillors for Lye Valley will lead the event.

Staff who work for Highways and Engineering at Oxford Direct Services, came across the plaque during an office move. With ward councillors’ approval it was agreed for the plaque to be erected in its rightful place to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons said: “It is right and proper that we remember the fallen despite the passing years. As the famous poem goes, "age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them."

The memorial plaque should have been erected when Normandy Crescent was named on 17 December 1956. Major John Howard led the troops of the Second Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who were the first allied troops to land in Normandy on 6 June 1944.

Their objective was to capture the bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne, later named Pegasus and Horsa respectively, near the village of Benouville. 

The successful capture of the bridges meant that the German armoured divisions were prevented from attacking the eastern flank of the Allied landing at Sword beach.

Allied troops also landed on Utah, Juno, Omaha and Gold beaches in Normandy on D-Day and this plaque commemorates all these successful landings.

Councillor Pat Kennedy, Ward Councillor for Lye Valley said: “It is an honour to have helped organise this commemoration of the people who took part in these events 75 years ago.”

The plaque will be fixed to a wall plinth, situated on the corner of Normandy Crescent. The plaque was already inscribed with the words ‘So named to commemorate the landings of the allied forces in Normandy 6 June 1944, Oxford City Council’.

Ex-members of the Armed Forces, the Royal British Legion, councillors, residents of the local neighbourhood and the head teacher and pupils of St Francis School have been invited to attend the short ceremony.