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1940s weekend ‘D-day battle’ bid in Haworth
Dramatic re-enactments of D-Day battles could be staged in Haworth’s Central Park as part of the village’s 1940s Weekend.
Organisers plan “guns, bangs and flashes” as uniformed enthusiasts re-create skirmishes between the Allies and Germans.
During the weekend of May 17 and 18, locations in the village could be temporarily renamed after the codenames for the five beaches used during the 1944 invasion.
A mannequin in a paratrooper’s uniform could be placed on the roof of Haworth parish church, recreating the infamous landing of a paratrooper on a similar church at Sainte Mere Eglise in France in 1944.
The D-Day events will be a main focus of this year’s 1940s weekend, along with special events focusing on wartime code breaker Alan Turing and the First World War.
The Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA), which is organising the popular annual weekend this year, wants to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day – the invasion of German-occupied France by the Allies.
Terrence Grayshon, SSAFA’s county chairman, said: “We are hoping to have skirmishes in the park with bangs and bullets, which will be new this year.
“People have said they want things that are more visual.”
People interested in re-enacting the experiences of First World War soldiers are also being invited to be part of this year’s Haworth 1940s Weekend, to mark the centenary of the start of the conflict.
Haworth Main Street trader, Nikki Carroll, said organisers were in the very early stages of planning a re-enactment of the unofficial Christmas 1914 truce, when troops on the Western Front briefly ceased fighting and even took part in football matches.
She added: “We thought this would be in keeping and a respectful way of commemorating the Christmas Day Truce.
“SSAFA has supported the armed forces and families through both World Wars. In the 1940s, many people would have been remembering and paying their respects to those they had lost in the First World War.”
Contact Nikki on 01535 643800 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer as a re-enactor.
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