With the disbanding of the Normandy Veterans Association the Spirit of Normandy Trust adopted its responsibilities, including:
- The maintenance of the Normandy Campaign Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.
- The ongoing maintenance of the Montgomery Statue at Colleville-Montgomery in Normandy.
This is in addition to the trust’s ongoing commitments:
Welfare: Welfare for remaining veterans and their dependants, in liaison with SSAFA.
Education: for children and the general public about the events leading up to the Normandy Landings and the historical significance of WW2. This includes promoting the annual essay competition, organised in association with the Young Historian Project.
You can download a leaflet about the trust here.
The Spirit of Normandy Trust was founded in 1994 by the late General Peter Martin CBE (former President of the NVA) to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Normandy campaign.
In May of 1994 The Spirit of Normandy Trust was founded by Major General Peter L.de C.Martin,CBE, and General Sir John Mogg, GCB, CBE, DSO*, DL. The Trust has two objectives: Benevolence and Education. Sir John Mogg was President of the Trust and General Martin was Chairman. At their invitation a body of Trustees was appointed to administer and carry out the business of the Charity. On the retirement of Sir John, General Martin continued as Chairman until ill health dictated that he took the honorary role of President in March 2005. The office of Chairman is now appointed from the body of Trustees. The Trust promoted a major “Spirit of Normandy” Pageant at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in June 1994.
The Spirit of Normandy Trust, is a registered charity No. 1038121
The Chairman – Richard Palusinski worked in public service roles for over 40 years. He also served with the Police within the Special Constabulary for 42 years, including holding the post of Commanding Officer for Wiltshire Special Constabulary for over 10 years. He worked with the Wiltshire Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association for 10 yeards, serving as Branch Secretary for the last 5 years.
Danny Cawdron is a History teacher at Newcastle under Lyme School where he has taught since 1994. He has been heavily involved in the School’s fieldtrips to Flanders, Berlin and Krakow and has led trips to Berlin and Normandy. The trips to the D-Day landing sites resulted in the School developing close links with the 99th Newcastle-under-Lyme Branch of the NVA. He became an associate member of the Branch in 2001 and attended their visits to Normandy in 2002 and 2004. Students from the School have successfully entered the senior category of the SONT competition, held in conjunction with the Young Historian Network, on six occasion.
Tony Gauvain, retired Colonel and former Commanding Officer of the Cheshire Regiment. On retirement he worked for 8 years in the computer industry and at the same time retrained as a psychotherapist. He is now a Fellow of the Human Givens Institute, a Trustee of Resolution and co-founder and Chairman of PTSD Resolution, providing treatment for post traumatic stress disorder and runs a private counselling clinic. He was appointed Trustee in October 2005.
Ian H. Stewart, C.M.former co- Director of Award Productions Ltd. In1989 was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. Served on the original 1994 NVA 50th Anniversary Committee, when Award Productions Ltd raised more than £10,000 for the Royal Albert Hall Concert. As a professional designer he has worked on many projects commemorating the Normandy Campaign.These include designing the Normandy Campaign Commemorative medal, launched in 1986 and the Normandy Campaign Memorial which was dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum in 2014. He served in The Royal Navy and was appointed as a Trustee in October 1995.
Flaminia Martin, is granddaughter to Major General Peter Martin who founded the Trust. Flaminia joined the Trust earlier in 2016 and will be contributing to the website and social media for the charity. For the past couple of years she has worked as a School Games Organiser in Surrey, working to increase competitive opportunities and tackle inactivity across the County.
Ray Spurr FCMA CGMA is currently employed as an accountant for the Ministry of Defence and joined the Trust in 2013. For the past ten years he has been Treasurer and an Honourable Member of the Wiltshire Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association. With his wife Jacqui they have escorted the veterans at both the 60th and the 70th D Day Commemorations in Normandy.
Colonel Dickie Winchester joined the Army in August 1978, following in the footsteps of his father. He was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery (RA), serving 37 years in the Regular Army, joining the Reserves in November 2015. His military service has taken him all over the world, including 2 tours with the United Nations and all the major theatres of conflict in which the British Army has engaged. Throughout his career, his principal extramural interests have concerned horses and drill. He is currently Chairman of the Army Equitation Association, Chairman of RA Equitation and RA Polo, and Chairman of the Larkhill (Army) Racecourse. As for drill, he’s a master at umbrella drill, bicycle drill and whip drill.
Mark Waring- A former SNCO in the Fleet Air Arm, having completed 27 Years service he now works in the City of London for a Major Insurance Assistance Company as Aviation Director. Mark has organised several trips back to Normandy for Veterans and is now leading on Legacy Trips where children visit the battlefields alongside Veterans that fought there. Mark will primarily be working on the SONT Events, including the Reunion and D Day 75 Dinner in 2019.
There is one non trustee officer:
Honorary Secretary/ Treasurer, Mary R. Stewart formerly Company Secretary and a co-Director of Award Productions Limited with her husband Ian. In 1986 the company set up the funding of the Normandy Veterans Welfare and Benevolent Fund and continues to support the Trust in its work in meeting its objectives. Served on the original Normandy Veterans Association 50th Anniversary Committee.