The Taxi Charity for Veterans was delighted to take the biggest group yet of veterans to the British Normandy Memorial
This June, in a weeklong trip to Normandy for the D Day Commemorations, the Taxi Charity was finally able to bring a large group of veterans to pay their respects at the beautiful British Normandy Memorial situated above Gold Beach.
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans was thrilled to finally be able to take a group of twenty-four veterans including sixteen Normandy veterans, to the British Normandy Memorial in Ver Sur Mer on 4 June. Last year the Charity took veterans to watch the opening ceremony live from the Memorial Arboretum on screens in the UK when pandemic restrictions did not allow them to travel abroad, so to finally be able to visit in person was very poignant for charity volunteers and the veterans they support.
Dick Goodwin, Vice President, Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said “Amongst our group of D Day veterans were Peter Smoothy who was on a Tank Landing Ship on Juno Beach, Bill Gladden who flew into Ranville in a glider, No4 Commando 100-year-old Roy Maxwell who landed on Sword beach and Marie Scott who transmitted messages to and from the beaches. The welcome from everyone for the largest group of veterans to visit the British Normandy Memorial to date was incredible and their other visitors were treated to a fabulous opportunity to get a once in a lifetime picture of so many veterans together.”
WWII Veteran Marie Scott who aged 17 transmitted messages to and from the beaches on D Day said, “Visiting the British Normandy Memorial was a very moving experience. I couldn’t help but reflect that some of the names that are on the imposing Memorial may have been soldiers I had heard shouting and screaming amongst the gunfire and blasts when I lifted the transmitter to send or receive messages from the beaches 78 years ago.”
Steve Dean, Project Manager, British Normandy Memorial, said, “It was wonderful to finally see the Veterans at the Memorial and an honour to welcome them. The Trust plans to continue fulfilling their desire for future generations to remember and reflect with an Education Centre at the site. A very special and moving visit, all thanks to the brilliant volunteers at the Taxi Charity.”
To find out about the support the Taxi Charity offers veterans or to donate towards the next veteran trip, please visit www.taxicharity.org
About the British Normandy Memorial
The British Normandy Memorial records the names of the 22,442 servicemen and women under British command who fell on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944. This includes people from more than 30 different countries. Inscribed in stone, their names have never, until now, been brought together. The site also includes a French Memorial, dedicated to the memory of French civilians who died during this time.
About the Taxi Charity
The Taxi Charity is run by volunteer London black taxi drivers and has been supporting thousands of veterans of all ages since 1948. The charity arranges free trips to the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, for acts of commemoration and days out to museums, concerts, or fundraising events in the UK, to catch up with friends and comrades.
The Charity worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure veterans received regular contact by sending out a greeting card each month, gifts to mark the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ day, stockings at Christmas and arranging Guards of Honour at veterans’ funerals. Volunteers have also helped with regular phone calls, food shopping, transport to hospital appointments, and more recently taking veterans for their Coronavirus injections.
The charity was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2021.
To fund and facilitate their work, the charity is reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses, and trusts.