SANDFORD is set to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day. 

The event, which will feature the lighting of a beacon, will take place at Beacon Church at Newbuildings around two and a half miles west of the village.  

There will be a free community shuttle-bus service to the church and back. People wishing to use the service should register their interest at the Post Office. 

There is a packed programme for the evening with gates open from 6pm, and the official opening and welcome by Brian Warren MBE at 6.30pm. 

At 6.35pm, Sandford schoolchildren will sing a selection of songs from the Second World War.  

Later, Ady Nuthall and The Holly Water Stompers will entertain from 6.50pm. 

The D-Day proclamation will then be read out at 7.30pm, followed by singing by Copplestone Community Choir at 7.40pm, and the band again afterwards. 

At 8.45pm, Brian Warren will propose a vote of thanks and invite everyone to make their way to the site of the beacon in the field next to the church. 

Major Mike Davis Ret'd MBE will read the international tribute at 9pm, followed by a playing of the Last Post. 

Rev Janet May will then speak briefly and light the D-Day 80 oil lamp. 

At 9.15pm, the beacon will be lit by Deputy Lord Lieutenant John Lee OBE, Royal Marine CSgt Dom Dunn and Terry Petherick, who owns Beacon Field. 

The lighting of the beacon will coincide with beacon-lightings on the Normandy coast. 

“Everyone is very welcome to join us for the evening,” a spokesperson said. 

“May we suggest you bring a chair! 

“During the evening free cakes and traybakes, and hot and cold drinks will be served.” 

There will also be a hog roast, vegetarian curry available and a Sandford Orchards cider bar. Cash is requested, with prices for the hog roast at £6.50 and £5 for the vegetarian curry. 

D-Day was the Allied invasion of Normandy. The largest amphibious invasion in history, it took place during the Second World War on June 6, 1944. 

It saw more than 150,000 Allied troops land on the beaches of a 50-mile stretch of northern France. The beaches were dubbed Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword. 

More than 4,400 Allied soldiers were killed during the operation. 

This year marks 80 years since the invasion and there will be similar celebrations across the country and in Europe. 

Beacon Church can be found north-west of Crediton at 3 Slate Cottages, Newbuildings, Sandford, Crediton EX17 4PW.  

It belongs to the parish of Sandford with Upton Hellions, which is part of the Crediton Benefice.  

There are two other churches in the parish: St Swithun’s in Sandford and St Mary the Virgin in Upton Hellions.