Alderney States is berated for not marking D-Day anniversary
THE absence of any events on Alderney to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day was a shocking omission, States of Alderney members were told at the June people’s meeting.
No formal or even informal event marked the anniversary, despite it being regarded as the last significant anniversary likely to be marked by veterans of the operation.
Alderney’s last D-Day participant, former Commando George Paltridge, who stormed Sword Beach in 1944, died a couple of years ago.
Former States member and Age Concern coordinator Barbara Benfield said she was appalled at the lack of any lead on the issue.
‘Nothing was done on Alderney to commemorate D-Day as an island, apart from raising the British flag outside the Island Hall,’ she said.
‘This event should have been led by the top officials here. The whole world did something to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and you would have expected Alderney to do something as well, and it’s shocking that it did not.’
She said a commemorative coin could have been produced to give to schoolchildren along with talks on the topic.
States member David Earl, who convened the meeting, agreed with her.
‘You should be pointing the finger at all of us because the reality is that we did nothing,’ he said. ‘Unfortunately, we have missed a big opportunity.’
Krys Page pointed out that the anniversary lasted all year and States member Louis Jean thought the omission could be remedied partially.
‘Something could still be done – better late than never. Guernsey did stamps. We could order them and give them to the children.’
St Anne’s School head teacher Martin Winward, who attended the meeting, said that behind the scenes children were not ignorant of what happened on D-Day.