Preparations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Bailiwick's occupation by German forces move forward.
Central to the celebrations commemorating 75 years since the Liberation of Guernsey and the Channel Islands will be the biggest ever motor cavalcade seen in the island. Featuring more than 250 vehicles, including 90 military vehicles visiting from the UK, the
cavalcade will start at L’Ancresse and end in St Peter Port. Vintage cars, floats, tractors and various groups of people will join the cavalcade at La Salerie and parade along St Peter Port seafront.
Other commemorative events taking place include a re-enactment of the first British troops to liberate Guernsey on the morning of the 9th May 1945, which will take place on the Victoria slip with a troop of 25. HMS Medusa (HDML 1387), now a floating museum, is part of the National Historic Fleet. A veteran of the D-Day Landings in Normandy, she will be drafted in to Guernsey to land a
representation of troops of “Operation Omelette”, the code-name given to the advance landing of troops of Taskforce 135, the original landing force of 9th May 1945.
Nikki Symons, Head of Marketing & Events, Sport & Culture said: “It will be a very moving experience watching a re-enactment of the British troops landing in Guernsey to liberate the island, what a great way to start the day’s proceedings.’’
The Medusa re-enactment will be followed by the secondary schools’ race. At 9.40am the parade – which will be led by the visiting Princess of Wales Royal Regiment band, will march from North beach along the seafront for the salute and inspection of the parade by the Guernsey Information Centre and the unveiling of the 75th Anniversary commemorative monument. The parade will then march to the Town church for the 11am service.
Deputy Richard Graham, Vice-President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture said: ‘We are delighted that the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Band is joining us as we mark the 75th Anniversary of Liberation due to their very strong historical connections to the island.’
There will be a parachute display by the Regiment’s free fall team, The Tigers at 13.45pm, plus following on from last year’s successful Liberation Day, plenty of activities and entertainment on the town piers.
Julie Settle from EC Events said: ‘’We are including lots for the youngsters to take part in at the Credit Suisse Kids Zone on Crown Pier, such as a four-side climbing wall, bouncy castles and art activities”.
Albert Pier will host the Home Front Marquee featuring a host of music and entertainment all day and in to the evening, plus there will be a food village, seating and a dedicated performance area for majorettes and dance groups.
Castle Emplacement will feature a market, a children’s carousel and aquativity zone, and Castle Cornet will be open all day with free entry with the Band of The Bugles & Drums of The Stedfast Association (BADOTSA) and the Band of the 2nd Guernsey Boys Brigade marching to the Castle at 11.30am and performing in the Middle Ward at 12.05.
The Waitrose NAAFI tea tent will once again be at the Albany, with a performance area next to it at the bus terminus.
The finale of the day will be the firework display to music at 9.30pm, lighting up Castle Cornet and the harbour.
People are encouraged to dress up in 1940’s costume for the day.