Uphill commemorates the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the battle of Normandy

Date Published: 7th June 2024

Visit  the churchyard to the Norman Church of St Nicholas Church atop of Uphill Hill in Uphill near Weston-super-Mare and will among the headstones you will find one erected in memory of Frederick Raymond Willis an Uphill resident who died of wounds during the battle of Normandy on 22 June 1944 when a Sapper in 756 Field Company, Royal Engineers. 

Frederick is not buried in the churchyard but in one of the Normandy War Cemeteries along with more than twenty thousand others who gave their lives on D-Day and during the following months in the battle of Normandy and the ultimate liberation of Europe.

The International 80th Anniversary D-Day Beacon was lit in Normandy on the 6th June at the British Normandy Memorial overlooking Gold Beach, with other Beacons located on Utah, Omaha, Juno and Sword beaches.  The principle UK Beacon at Portsmouth was lit at 9.15pm that night along with others across the nation including at Uphill. 

Villagers gather around the ancient tower on top of Uphill Hill and Nature Reserve where the lighting party consisted of: Mr. Giles Clarke, CBE, DL - Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Cllr John Crockford-Hawley - Weston-super-Mare Town Mayor, Cllr Clare Hunt - Vice-Chair person North Somerset Council and Mr. Stewart Castle - Chair Uphill Village Society who organised the event. 

Before lighting the beacon the Mayor read a  Proclamation as read by Town Criers across the country earlier in the day and Mr. Giles Clarke read a tribute to all those involved in the D-Day landings and battle of Normandy and in honour of whom the beacon burned overnight.

Photograph show the Town Mayor, Cllr John Crockford-Hawley and Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Mr Giles Clarke lighting the beacon