WW2 PLAQUE UNVEILING.SATURDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2014.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day operations, Blackheath commemorated the British and Canadian troops who were stationed in and around the village between 1940 to 1943 with the unveiling of a plaque on an outside wall of the Village Hall, a vintage tea and an exhibition of photographs and original film of the troops in and around Blackheath and Bramley.
The troops who were from the 47th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (1940-1941), The Royal Artillery Regiment (1941-1942), ‘A’ Company of the 18th Armoured Car Regiment of the Manitoba Dragoons (1942-1943) all made their temporary home billeted here on our heath land and becoming part of village life before departing for active duty.
Al Cunningham, President of the Canadian Veterans Association UK, unveiled the plaque on Saturday 20th September. The ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Royal Artillery and the Royal British Legion as well as Liz Wheatley, Mayor of Waverley, Parish and Borough Councillors and, of course, many locals.
The unveiling was followed by a short concert with villager Charlotte Maggs singing songs from the 1940s ending with a spirited rendition of “There’ll Always Be An England” bringing everyone to their feet to join in, and then to tea. A magnificent affair of sandwiches and cakes prepared and served by the ladies of the village in 1940s dresses and hairdos in a hall wonderfully decorated with huge Canadian and British flags, as well as the flags of the Royal Artillery.
Blackheath Village Hall was used during the war years as a popular ‘Ensa’ canteen for the troops. Recreation in the form of dances and film shows were also popular with the troops and villagers and also held in the Victorian hall.