National Fish and Chip Day 2024: What is it and its connection to D-Day explained as 'secret code' revealed

Watch Andrew Cook, President of the National Federation of Fish Friers, discuss a war diary entry which references the secret code.

National Fish and Chip Day will return for its ninth year in 2024.

The day was created by the National Edible Oil Distributors’ Association (NEODA) to celebrate the fish and chips industry - from the fishers who catch the fish, and the farmers who grow the potatoes and peas to the fish and chip shops who sell the iconic dish. Chip shops often decorate their shops to mark the day and you can sometimes even grab some fish and chips for a discounted price.

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For 2024, National Fish and Chip day will move to a different day from when it’s traditionally celebrated to coincide with D-Day 80 commemorations.

What is the connection between fish and chips and D-Day?

Prime Minister Winston Churchill called fish and chips ‘the good companions’. Fish and chips were one of the few foods that was not rationed during WW2. The meal was safeguarded to try and keep morale up. 

During the Normandy landings, soldiers who needed a way of telling whether someone nearby was a friend or foe would reportedly use the words fish and chips as a code - one would call ‘fish’ and the other would reply ‘chips’.

Fish and chips.Fish and chips.
Fish and chips. | Adobe Stock

When is National Fish and Chip day?

National Fish and Chip Day usually takes place on the first Friday in June, however this year the day will be celebrated on Thursday June 6. June 6 2024 will mark 80 years since D-Day - the largest seaborne invasion in history and the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe.

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National Fish and Chip Day 2024 will acknowledge the importance of fish and chips during WW1 and WW2, and on D-Day. 

What events will be held in the UK to commemorate D-Day?

Portsmouth will host a major national commemorative event to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 5 2024. Members of the public have been invited to join D-Day veterans and VIP guests for the ticketed event on Southsea Common. The event will include a Royal Air Force Red Arrows flypast. The event is now sold out, however it will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK for those unable to attend.

On June 6 2024 at 2pm, the Royal British Legion will host a Remembrance Service to mark 80 years since D-Day within the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffordshire. The Arboretum will be open as normal on the day and visitors are welcome to come and watch the service.

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