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Omagh High School Order of Service

Omagh High School 6th June 2024

Pupils, staff and governors of Omagh High School gathered today at 11am to commemorate the D-Day/Normandy landings. Our pupils formed a guard of honour around the memorial garden dedicated to the D-Day.  Following a few words by Mr Gaitatzis (Principal) a minute’s silence was kept for the fallen soldiers.

Mr Gaitatzis:

We gathered here today in our D-Day memorial garden to pay our respects and remember our forefathers sacrifice to end the second world war.  The pupil representatives of Auchinleck house are here to mark this very important date.  Today our two guests are Mickey Berrabah and Trevor Donnell (to represent Cedric (RIP), his brother)  that were pupils in our school and came up with this fantastic concept MEMORIAL almost 30 years ago. I would like to thank everyone that is here today.

In 1944, after nearly five years of war, British, Commonwealth and American troops were ready to cross from England to mainland Europe to start to free those countries occupied by the Nazis.

Where would the Allies land? Would they cross the Channel by the shortest route, to land near Calais? Would they land first on the British territory of Jersey and the other Channel Islands, already occupied by the Germans? Yet both these places were the most heavily fortified and defended.

It was decided instead to land in Normandy, hoping that they would not be detected on their long journey across the sea - at least 150km (95 miles). On 6th June 1944 the D-Day landing took place in Normandy, involving hundreds of thousands of people working together.

The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day, with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June. Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead and the Germans had 4,000–9,000 casualties (killed, wounded, missing or captured).

The Germans never achieved Hitler's stated aim of "throwing the Allies back into the sea" on D-Day or anytime thereafter.   D-Day was a turning-point because it saw the start of the defeat of Hitler.


A minute’s silence for the fallen (We will remember them)


I would like to invite Mickey and Trevor to come forward and plant two red rose plants. The red colour of the roses will be a reminder of the fallen soldiers during that significant event 80 years ago.


Canon Alan Irwin.

Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; 

to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and to ask for no reward, save that of knowing that we do your will. Amen.



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