Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings 1944 – 2024

Many of you will have seen the commemoration events on the news that are taking place both here and in France to mark the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings. There would have been many Old Decanians taking part in what was the largest seaborne invasion in history, men and young boys just out of school not much older than you, heading to the Normandy coast in planes and boats, some of whom never came home. Today to mark the Commemoration we remember those who fell during that offensive.

Martin Bryan-Smith


Martin was one of three brothers who attended Dean Close School during the 1920s. He was in Gate House alongside his twin brother, Anthony, arriving in 1924 and leaving four years later. He won his School Gym colours and House Cross-Country colours as well as being a Corporal in the Officer Training Corps.

Martin was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, as well as having been Mentioned-in-Despatches and at the time of his death was Acting Squadron Leader RAFVR, 97 Squadron. His Lancaster, Z-Zebra, was shot down at the Pointe Du Hoc, Normandy, after successfully reaching and bombing coastal targets on D-Day. His name is on the Runnymede Memorial. He was 33 years old. His twin brother Anthony, also served in the RAFVR, and was killed in a forced landing on return from a raid flying over Norway. He was 28 years old.

The Gymnastics Team 1928 – Martin Bryan-Smith



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