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Fish and chips to play starring role at D-Day anniversary beacon ceremony!

To mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Pageant Master of D-Day80, Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR is organising a commemorative beacon and Lamp Lights of Peace lighting across the UK at 9.15pm on 6 June and will consist of 800 beacons and hundreds of Lamp Lights of Peace being lit along the UK coastline including the Channel Islands, Isla of Man and UK overseas territories coastlines as well as five beaches in Normandy, at 9.15pm local time.


The first beacon will be ignited at the naval base, HMNB Portsmouth by Bruno himself who will use a ceremonial torch, both of which have been specifically created and donated by BA Systems for the occasion, and will contain within the base and handle, sand from the five Normandy beaches the allies landed on.

This year’s D Day campaign also pays homage to the fish and chip industry and the role it played in WW2. As a staple British dish that was one of the few foods in the UK not to be subject to rationing. Not only that, on the frontlines, troops calling "fish" and allies calling "chips" was an effective way to tell whether they were friend or foe. So, accompanying Bruno at the official lighting of the first beacon on D Day, will be President of the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), Andrew Crook, helping to mark this momentous occasion.

This partnership not only cements the role fish and chips played in the war but the support the fish and chip community is lending to this incredible anniversary.

Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR Pageantmaster of D-Day80, and of the 80-day countdown to June 6, 2024, says: “In 1944 Allied forces mounted the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever witnessed. Operation Overlord, D-Day, saw over 5,000 ships and landing craft set down more than 150,000 troops on the five Normandy beaches that would bring about the liberation of north-west Europe from Nazi occupation.

“In order to commemorate the peace and freedom given to us through the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of so many thousands involved in the D-Day landings, and throughout the whole of WW11, beacons and Lamp Lights of Peace will be lit across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK overseas territories. And, in a very poignant and unique gesture,  special Lamp Lights of Peace lamps will be lit on each of the five beaches in Normandy, at 9.15pm local time that night, to coincide with the lighting of beacons at that time too.

“However, at 9.10pm, as night descends - and just before the beacons ignite - the resonant sound of bagpipes will be heard across the capital cities of London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff. We will also have a presence in the capital cities of the Allied nations that took part. From Washington DC to the distant shores of New Zealand’s Auckland, from Ottawa to Paris, and from Canberra to Brussels, Athens and Amsterdam, Oslo, Warsaw, and Prague.

“The light from the flames from the lamps and the beacons will represent the ‘light of peace’ that emerged from the darkness of war, with the lamp providing a very simple, safe, unique and cost-effective way of taking part in this important 80th anniversary occasion, especially as once used, can be lit again at 11am on every Remembrance Sunday thereafter, in tribute to the many millions that sacrificed their lives during WWII.”

Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, says: “What a privilege that we can be here on 6 June to commemorate the D-Day landings, the success of which was made possible by our servicemen and women who selflessly gave their lives and made untold sacrifices.

“The occasion is also an opportunity to honour the incredible contributions made by countless hardworking, everyday people in towns and cities across the UK who courageously risked everything to ensure families had food on the table.

“Fish and chips were some of the only foodstuffs not part of rationing sanctions, as Sir Winston Churchill feared it would create widespread discontent. This was very much welcomed and great lengths were made to maintain small vestiges of normality with people’s livelihoods, but it took a toll on fish and chip industry suppliers. Our fisherman would take to the seas trying their best to avoid German submarines and farmers had land mines to contend with but sadly, not always successfully.

“On the frontline, it also served as a code for troops to understand who was approaching, with “fish” being shouted and a response of “chips” identifying it was an ally on the field. The nation’s favourite dish has such deep-rooted significance in British history, it literally saved lives in the darkest of times but was simultaneously entwined with loss. D-Day 80 is for us all to come together to contemplate what has been overcome and remember the tremendous efforts, resilience and ingenuity.”

It was with great delight that Chippy Chat was also asked to be part of the D-DAY 80 Anniversary on June 6, 2024. We have joined forces with our friends and colleagues at the National Federation of Fish Friers and NEODA to encourage as many people as possible to eat fish and chips on the day and for our shops to donate a percentage per portion to raise as much money as possible for the four charities. We also donated £1500 from our last Chippy Chat Ball too.

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