The Normandy Landings were part of the largest seabourne invasion in history. The operation took place on 6 June 1944. This year, 2024, is the 80th anniversary of that event.

Known as D-Day, the historic operation saw the Allied Forces mount a large-scale invasion of Nazi-occupied France that ultimately changed the course of the Second World War in the Allies’ favour. You can read more about the operation and a little known link to East Sussex in our article written to mark the 75th anniversary, in 2019.

There are lots of local events taking place across the county on or around 6 June to mark this historic anniversary. Why not see what’s happening near you?

Commemoration Services

Ditchling, Thursday, 6 June

A commemoration service attended by HM Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex will be held at Ditchling War Memorial at 11am.

Hailsham, Thursday, 6 June

A service organised by the Royal British Legion Hailsham & District Branch will take place at the Hailsham War Memorial at 6.30am to mark the anniversary.

Peacehaven, Thursday, 6 June

A short service will be held at the War Memorial at 10.45am.

Bexhill, Saturday, 8 June

A procession of veterans and uniformed groups will be taking part in a special event on Bexhill seafront on Saturday. The procession will set off from the clocktower at 11.30am and a special service will be held on the Metropole Lawns at approximately 11.45am.

Rotherfield, Sunday, 9 June

A D-Day 80th Anniversary Commemoration service will take place at Rotherfield War Memorial on Court Meadow Green at 10am. If wet the service will be held in St Denys’ Church.

Ripe, Sunday, 9 June

Morning Service will be held at Ripe Church at 10.30am.

Lamp Lights of Peace – Beacon lighting, Thursday 6 June

Beacons across the country will be lit at 9.15pm on 6 June in celebration of the ‘light of peace’ that emerged out of the darkness of war.

A special International Tribute will be read out at many of the beacon lighting events in remembrance of those who took part in the D-Day landings.


Seaford residents and visitors to the town are invited to the lighting of the beacon at Splash Point by Seaford Bonfire Society.

The event will start at 8pm and will include an address from the Mayor, a proclamation from the Town Crier and entertainment from Seaford Silver Band. The beacon is being lit at 9.15pm.


The Willingdon beacon at Butts Brow will be lit at 9.15pm.

Access to the beacon will be from Butts Brow with a short walk to the right which will be signposted to the usual location by the diamond shaped tree which is visible from Willingdon when you look at the Downs.


Rotherfield Parish are holding a number of events to mark the anniversary including the Ringing Out for Peace and lighting the village beacon on 6 June.

From 6.30pm, St Denys’ Church bell ringers will join churches across the country in ringing the church bells for peace.

The Rotherfield beacon will be lit by members of the Rotherfield and Mark Cross Bonfire Society on the Recreation Ground. Tributes will start at 9.15pm followed by the lighting of the beacon at 9.30pm.


Everyone is invited to join Newhaven Town Council and the Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex at the town’s commemoration event.

The Meeching & District Bonfire Society will hold a Torch Light Procession just before 9pm with the lighting of the town’s Beacon on the West Quay Promontory (just south of the RNLI station) taking place at 9.15pm.

Please note that there is no parking available at this event.


An evening event, held in front of the Gateway Café, to mark the anniversary will start at 6pm.

The event will include local churches taking part in the Ringing Out for Peace, live music, children’s activities and the reading of the Tribute. The beacon will be lit at 9.15pm.


The event at Goldsmiths Leisure Centre will start at 6.30pm when there will be a recording of church bells, ringing for peace. This will be followed by a welcome from the Mayor. There will be readings and speeches as well as a drill display from the RAF Air Cadets, a Police Dog display and 1940s music.

At 9.15pm the Crowborough beacon will be lit in line with the lighting of beacons across the rest of the country.


A family event will be held at Victoria Pleasure Ground with activities from 6pm to 9.15pm, when the beacon will be lit.

There will be live music, a bbq and games, followed by a proclamation by the Town Crier and the lighting of the beacon.


Heathfield & District Bonfire Society, with the support of Heathfield & Waldron Parish Council, will be putting on a local community event at Cade Street Recreation Ground, Old Heathfield.

The event will run from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and there will be music and a wreath laying ceremony before the beacon is lit.


Chalvington with Ripe Parish Council are holding an event on the Community Field from 6.30pm.

There will be a brass band, music and food as well as the beacon lighting.


The Hastings beacon on East Hill will be lit at 9:15pm. 


These are local community events, so please check timings and locations before travelling.

For more information about national events taking place in the UK and in France to mark the anniversary, visit the government’s official D-Day 80 website and the Royal British Legion website.


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