WW2 PLAQUE UNVEILED
SATURDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2014.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day operations, Blackheath commemorated the presence of British and Canadian troops who were stationed in and around the village between 1940 to 1943 with the unveiling of a plaque at the front of the Village Hall. Villagers and guests also enjoyed a vintage tea, an exhibition of photographs, and original film footage 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 on Blackheath. The became part of village life for a number of years before departing for active duty.
Al Cunningham, President of the Canadian Veterans Association UK, who was himself billeted in the area, unveiled the plaque on Saturday 20th September 2014. The ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Royal Artillery, The Royal British Legion, as well as the Mayor of Waverley Liz Wheatley, 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, who were suitably attired with 1940s styled dress and hairstyles. The hall was a riot of colour decorated with a sea of Canadian, British and Royal Artillery flags.
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 popular with both the troops and villagers.