Twin towns Buxton and Oignies honour World War Two heroes

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A service of remembrance for military and civilian war casualties was held in Buxton on Saturday, attended by visitors from the spa town’s French twin, Oignies.

The tricolour was flown above Buxton Town Hall in honour of the special visitors, who were accommodated by local families during their five-day stay.

As well as renewing friendships and reinforcing the relationship between the towns, the Oignies contingent also attended a service of remembrance on The Slopes on Saturday morning.

The service had added poignancy as it marked the 75th anniversary of tragic events in Oignies in May 1940, when the town was the scene of fierce resistance to the advancing German armies.

The former coal mining town played a key role during the Second World War in facilitating the historic evacuation from the Dunkirk beaches.

The graves of 18 English soldiers, including six from Buxton who served with the Sherwood Foresters, are in Oignies cemetery and are tended with respect by the local townspeople.

A spokesperson for High Peak Borough Council said: “Buxton’s twinning with Oignies is built on special foundations and is independently maintained by its members to perpetuate the memories, gratitude and mutual respect that unite the towns.”