Headley Court hosts commemoration event for D-Day 80

D-Day commemorative event at Headley Court
D-Day commemorative event at Headley Court

On Friday 7th June His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr. Michael More-Molyneux and The Honourable Ralph Goodale PC, High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom led a commemorative D-Day event at the historic Headley Court in Surrey to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Headley Court, which was most recently a rehabilitation centre for injured members of the British Armed Forces, was an important centre for the Canadian 1st and 2nd Divisions during the war effort, serving as the senior field headquarters for the majority of the Second World War, with the nearby Headley Heath also a centre for Canadian Engineers.  

Today's commemoration was incredibly moving, attended by military officials, Effingham Schools CCF Combined Cadet Force, The Irish Guards, Mr Michael Hayman and members of the local community. Stories shared by guest speakers served as a poignant reminder of the pivotal role Headley Court played in the war effort, with especially heartfelt thanks to our 99 year old guest of honour, war veteran ‘Jim Jobbins’.

Order of the day


Effingham Schools Combined Cadet Force welcome guests


Mr. Michael Hayman
Mr. Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Villages
His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux
High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom, The Honourable Ralph Goodale PC
Sir Michael Pickard
Sir Anthony Seldon
Lieutenant Colonel Tim Petransky PWRR
Brigadier General Dwayne Parsons

Cadet inspection:

Effingham Schools Combined Cadet Force inspected by
His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, High Commissioner for Canada and Brigadier General Parsons
Commanders coin presented by Brigadier General Parsons and Squadron Leader Tracy Pearson

Maple Tree planting:

By His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, High Commissioner for Canada and CEO of Audley Villages

Ceremonial Flag:

Presented to Headley by High Commissioner for Canada received by Councillor David Preedy, Chair, Headley Parish Council

Closing Remarks:

His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant closing remarks

History of Headley Court

Headley Court was an Elizabethan farmhouse bought by the Cunliffe family in 1879. It stayed within the family until it was requisitioned for military use during the Second World War.

It was occupied from 1940 until 1945 by the Canadian Army as their headquarters and troops were accommodated in Nissen huts and other buildings on the estate, as well as elsewhere in the local area.

At the close of the War, Headley Court continued its link with the Armed Forces and in 1953 opened as one of three medical rehabilitation units in the UK.

It was used as a rehabilitation centre for injured members of the British Armed Forces between 1985 and 2018.

In 2014 the Minister of Defence announced that services provided by Headley Court would be transferred to a new centre to be developed at Stanford Hall, funded by the Duke of Westminster.

Audley Headley Court, the planned new luxury retirement village, is in development and first owners are due to move in 2026.

Headley Court was today, on 7th June 2024, presented with a ceremonial flag which will eventually fly from the Grade II listed mansion house once work has completed on the site.

Audley's plans to breathe life into Headley Court

Our Chief Executive Nick Sanderson founded Audley Villages in 2000 bringing the first luxury retirement village to the UK. Over twenty years on, we continue to grow and develop our luxury concept. In 2022, we introduced the first retirement village to the mid-market. With 22 villages, we’re committed to continuous growth to help the demands of older people.

Within Audley’s ever-increasing portfolio of luxury retirement villages, we have a wide range of building styles, designed to blend harmoniously with the surrounding architecture. In some cases, buildings are entirely new. In others, there is a mixture of restored historical buildings, and newly constructed properties that are carefully designed to complement the traditional properties they surround.

Many of Audley’s properties have listed status and generally tend to be located within conservation areas. For some developers this would be a material challenge, but Audley embraces the historical and environmental constraints and creatively restores a host of exceptional properties to provide owners with a genuinely superior selection of penthouses, apartments and cottages.

By identifying glorious, historic and listed buildings in need of renovation, Audley begins to create something very special.

Preserving a piece of heritage and breathing new life into a building has forever been a passion for Audley, along with the desire to restore properties, presenting them with a new sense of purpose within a community.