D-Day Landings Commemorated in Spectacular Shopping Centre Display – Herald.Wales


PORT Talbot’s Aberafan Shopping Centre has unveiled a spectacular “beach scene” display commemorating the World War Two Normandy Landings.

The D-Day Landings of June 6th, 1944 when around 156,000 men converged on the shores of Normandy became the largest seaborne invasion in history. 

Along with the associated airborne operations, the landings marked the beginning of the liberation of France and Western Europe during World War Two.

In June, the battlefields of France will draw world leaders and veterans for major commemorations of the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

On Wednesday, May 29th, 2024, the Management and staff at the Shopping Centre completed their local commemoration of the event – a display of Second World War Vehicles, including a Tilly Van, Assault Landing Craft and a Royal Enfield motorcycle together with models in battle fatigues carrying weapons – all set on a ‘mini beach’ in the middle of the popular shopping mall.

Chris Morgan MBE, Centre Manager and Julia Harries, Centre Administrator, and the onsite team at the Centre, were helped in organising the display by Finola Pickwell, the Regional Armed Forces Covenant Liaison Officer for Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and Bridgend, are keen to add to the display any memorabilia, photographs or stories from the Landings which local families may have. 

Those who wish to do so should contact the Centre’s Management Office at [email protected] .

Neath Port Talbot Councillor Wyndham Griffiths, a former serviceman who is Neath Port Talbot Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “I’d like to give my thanks to those at the Aberafan Shopping Centre who have been involved in setting up this display”.

“The 80th anniversary of D-Day is a momentous occasion and one I am pleased to see is being recognised here in Neath Port Talbot.”

The Aberafan Shopping Centre commemoration will be in place until September 4th this year and as well as the display there will be  informative stands about locals who served in World War Two and who were present on D-Day as well as educational visits by schools, talks, and many other activities

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