The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans escorted a group of veterans to Normandy for the D Day commemorations
London Cab Drivers who volunteer for the Taxi Charity took a group of 24 veterans to Normandy for six days for the D Day Commemorations. The trip included visits to the British Normandy Memorial and the Juno Beach Centre, ceremonies of remembrance at Grangues, Pegasus Memorial and the Ranville Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery, an afternoon with students from a school in Cabourg and a meeting with the D Day Commemoration Committee.
Normandy Veteran, Bill Gladden who served with the 6th Airborne, Recce Regiment, said, “I flew into Normandy in a glider on D Day and I have been fortunate to have been coming on trips for years with the Taxi Charity to remember the friends that I lost. I cannot thank the charity and all the volunteer drivers for the care they take with us. This year they arranged for me to say the Khomia Epitaph at the remembrance service at Memorial Pegasus which was a real honour. The London Cab Drivers are so kind to us and as soon as locals and visitors see the convoy of taxis they applaud and cheer as we drive past. I know they aren’t just thanking us but thanking the men and women cabbies who take the time to drive us. I’m 98 so a trip to Normandy would be unthinkable without the charity. They pick me and my niece up from home in a black cab, give us a fabulous week away and then return us to our door. They are a very special group of men and women.”
Dick Goodwin, Vice President, Taxi Charity, said, “After not being able to visit Normandy since 2019 it was a pleasure to finally be able to return these veterans to France to remember those who did not come home. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on fundraising for all charities and we are no different. Our veterans, their carers, and the volunteer cab drivers who generously give their time to drive us, do not pay for the trips and although it is our greatest wish to be able to return to Normandy in 2023 we need donations and support for our fundraising activities to make future trips possible.”
To find out more about the support the Taxi Charity offers veterans or to donate towards future trips please visit www.taxicharity.org
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.