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.
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.
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.
Peter Lankester completed a full and varied career as a Royal Navy officer in 2007. A commando helicopter pilot, executive officer of both a frigate and a training establishment, he completed his career with attaché posts in the United States and South Africa. In 2008 he joined the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), with responsibilities for some 100 redundant churches in the South West. He is now a consultant and volunteer with the CCT and the National Trust. A Francophile with links to the Normandy landings (his father helped design and build the Mulberry Harbour), he became a trustee in 2018.
Phil Terry is currently both Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Southend on Sea Veterans of Normandy, Formerly NVA branch 30. Phil’s interest in WW2 and Normandy in particular stem from his dad who enlisted on 29th April 1942 in Saskatoon Canada. Taking part in the Normandy Invasion he went on through to Germany with the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade. In his spare time Phil is an active member of a WW2 Display Group who attend numerous events educating the public and collecting for the Trust.
Warrant Officer Class 1 Baz Firth MBE joined the Royal Navy in 1990, specialising in the Fleet Air Arm on the Lynx maritime helicopter, and has enjoyed a varied and active career spanning 29 years. With tours worldwide he has travelled to over 40 countries in his time with the Lynx helicopter and more recently has been employed in engineering capability teams, quality assurance and engineering training. Outside of his Royal Navy role he is the South West Regional Organiser for the Sporting Bears Motor Club, helping raise over £2M for children’s charities across the UK. Named on the 2013 New Year’s Honours list for his charity work and invested to MBE in 2014 he has proudly been the Trust’s Cenotaph Platoon Commander since 2014 and is very humbled to have been invited to join the Trust as a Trustee. He will be working closely with Mark Waring on the HMS Victory dinner and the main reunion and events of a wider interest and support to the Trust and the Veterans and families.
Flaminia Martin, is granddaughter to Major General Peter Martin who founded the Trust. Having joined the Trust in 2016 she manages the website and social media for the charity. Flaminia works as an Active Schools Lead in Surrey, working to increase opportunities in sport and physical activity across the County.
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.