Dick Atkinson with Rt Revd Paul Butler and the memorial stone.

 Allan Pattinson, Dick Atkinson, Rt Revd Paul Butler surrounded by fire brigade fundraisers, families, invited guest and memorial stone.

Allan Pattinson, Dick Atkinson, Rt Revd Paul Butler surrounded by fire brigade fundraisers, families, invited guest and memorial stone.
The Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd Paul Butler, blessed a memorial which pays tribute to County Durham soldiers who died in a little-known action in World War Two. Fundraisers from Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service have raised money to buy the stone memorial in memory of members of the Durham Light Infantry who took on an elite German shock troops at Lingevres, near Bayeux, in Normandy, France, as the Allies made their big push for victory in Europe. Money was raised during a collection outside Sainsbury’s at Durham’s Arnison Centre. The capture of the village on June 14 1944, with the loss of dozens of lives, prevented the Germans holding a vital position blocking the Allied advance. Fire service Watch manager Allan Pattinson, who along with a group of fellow firefighters has for several years visited Normandy to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day, said: “As we travelled round, we noticed that there were lots of memorials but none bearing the letters DLI. “We always go the little village of Lingevres which was the site of a key battle but there was nothing to commemorate their sacrifices, not even at the local church, where the wounded soldiers were taken after the battle. We decided to do something to put that right.” Bishop Paul blessed the stone during a ceremony at masons North East Granite in Langley Moor, County Durham, before its departure for France, in one of his first official duties following his enthronement. Mr Pattinson said security company Serco have offered to pay to transport the memorial to France. It will be accompanied by four fire service members. Allan said: “We feel that it is important that the sacrifices that the men who died at Lingevres should be remembered. The memorial is a piece of marble engraved with the DLI cap badge.“ The Bishop said: “Remembering is part and parcel of how we find healing. Some people think we open up wounds by remembering but, in fact, it makes sure that they heal properly, that we get wholesome healing. It is a real privilege to be here.” Private Dick Atkinson, who took part in the battle, said: “To have the Bishop blessing the stone is out of this world. It’s a fantastic honour and I never thought it would happen. It would not have happened without the firemen.”  

Share to your social accounts
Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here