WHAT does Newton Abbot mean to you? Why do you love to call it home? Tell the Mayor why you love Newton Abbot and help him light the D-Day 80th anniversary beacon.

Capture those feelings in a photo, drawing or essay of no more than 100 words and share them with Newton Abbot Town Council.

Mayor Cllr Alex Hall, who takes up office on May 15, will choose the entry he loves most and ask its creator to help him light the D-Day 80th anniversary beacon in Highweek.

Here’s why.

At 6.30am on Tuesday, June 6, 1944, the Allied liberation of occupied France began.

Operation Neptune, more commonly known as D-Day, was the largest seaborne invasion in world history.

It cost the lives of more than 4,400 troops, the Battle of Normandy that followed claimed another 70,000.

As a whole, World War Two took the lives of perhaps more than 80 million people. This unimaginable sacrifice provided the foundations for the liberty we still enjoy today.

On the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Newton Abbot, along with communities the length and breadth of Britain, will commemorate the moment with the lighting of beacons.

The ceremony at Highweek, one of three set to take place at the same time in Newton Abbot, will be led by Cllr Alex Hall.

He said: ‘As we all know, there’s no place like home, and for me that is Newton Abbot.

‘It’s a town that means so much to me and one I will be very privileged to serve as its Mayor.

‘It’s also a community that has, largely, known nothing but peace for a number of generations and that isn’t something we should take for granted.

‘The sacrifices made, not only on D-Day but throughout the Second World War and other conflicts, has allowed us and our town to grow and prosper.

‘Whatever the challenges we face today, they pale into insignificance compared with how life could have been had our forebears not fought to preserve our independence.

‘So I’d like to know why other people are glad to call Newton Abbot home and to remind ourselves of the good fortune we enjoy simply by living here.

‘There’s no place like Newton Abbot, there’s no place like home.

‘Tell me why and, hopefully, you can join me in Highweek on June 6 to light a very special beacon of hope and remembrance.’

Newton Abbot’s three beacons will be near All Saints’ Church at Highweek, the junction of Firestone Lane and Stoneman’s Hill in Wolborough and Shaldon Road in Buckland, south of the Centrax factory.

The public are welcome to attend although please be courteous when parking and do not enter private land without permission.

Submit entries by emailing [email protected] or dropping them off at Newton’s Place, Wolborough Street.

The deadline is 5pm Monday May 27, entrants must agree to publicity photographs being published.

Ensure your contact details are clearly marked and state if you want the entry to be returned.