Ashfield remembers Normandy Landings 80 years on

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Ashfield came together for a number of events to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Ashfield Council Leader Jason Zadrozny has spoken of his pride after taking part in a special service at St Wilfrid’s Church to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. This was just one of the events to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day which saw Allied Forces land on the beaches of Normandy resulting in the liberation of Western Europe.

Other highlights included a Beacon Lighting at Woodnook Recreation Ground in Selston as Ashfield came together to commemorate the historic occasion.

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Walter Nazar, 97, from Kirkby, who was a Nazi slave before fighting with American forces, was guest of honour at the Ashfield District Council organised service, along with another veteran - 99-year-old John Fejfer, a British paratrooper, from Annesley. John, grandfather of Councillor Zadrozny is 100 on July 6.

The Beacon is lit at Woodnook Recreation Ground.The Beacon is lit at Woodnook Recreation Ground.
The Beacon is lit at Woodnook Recreation Ground.

The two men, who both originally come from Poland, shared a warm embrace after the event which paid tribute to the tens of thousands of Allied servicemen who landed on the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944, beginning the liberation of Nazi-occupied Western Europe.

Jason said, “The service at St Wilfrids Church was packed as we paid tribute to those who gave so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. I was proud to read and it was an emotional moment when my 99 year old grandad John met Walter Nazar to swap photos and memories.

“The Beacon Lighting at Woodnook Recreation Ground, Selston was also an amazing tribute. I’d like to thank the Parish Council team for organising an amazing event with Rock n Soul Singers and a Vera Lynn tribute.”

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The Beacon was lit by ex-Marine Commando and Selston Councillor Andy Gascoyne, alongside Councillor David Martin, Chairman of Selston Parish Council. An International Tribute was read by Rev Adrian Dempster.