This is when a Lancaster bomber will fly over Sheffield, as city salutes Normandy veterans
A flypast over Sheffield, honouring the Normandy veterans who helped liberate Europe, is just over a fortnight away – and the final timings have now been confirmed.
A Lancaster bomber is set to soar through the skies above the city on Saturday, June 15, during a special day of commemorations marking 75 years since D-Day.
Thousands of people are expected to attend a ceremony at Norfolk Heritage Park that day, including around 20 veterans from Sheffield and further afield.
Graham Askham, secretary of the Sheffield Normandy Veterans Association, has now announced the schedule for the day.
The bomber is due to arrive at 1.32pm that afternoon and make three passes, he said, though the exact timing is dependent on weather conditions.
Veterans are expected to get there from around 11.15am and the band is set to strike up at midday, before dignitaries begin arriving from about 12.15pm.
The memorial service is expected to get underway at around 12.40pm and to conclude once the bomber has completed its three passes.
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Veterans, their families and other guests will then head off to the University of Sheffield’s Firth Court building for a private reception.
Mr Askham said at least 3,000 people are expected to turn out for the commemorations, which are being held nine days after the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings so veterans can also join the memorial events taking place in France on and around the day itself.
He is expecting around 20 veterans to be there, with six or seven from Sheffield and the rest from further afield including Harrogate, Hull, Stockport and the Peak District.
“It’s shaping up to be a very special day, and we’re hoping as many people as possible can be there to remember those who gave so much for our freedom,” said Mr Askham.
“The main aim is to make it as memorable a day as possible for the veterans from Sheffield and beyond who are able to be there.”
The ceremony is due to take place at the top end of the park, near the Guildford Avenue entrance, and people are asked to walk or travel by public transport where possible as parking restrictions will be in place.
The Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe; Sheffield Lord Mayor Tony Downing; Major General Neil Sexton, the British Army’s director of engagement and communications; and the Honorary French Consul Jean-Claude Lafontaine are among the dignitaries expected to attend.
The ceremony was originally due to take place at Weston Park but was moved due to concerns about traffic.
A smaller dedication ceremony is now planned at Weston Park, on a separate date, when a new memorial stone and bench honouring Normandy veterans will be unveiled alongside the existing memorial tree.