2016 Reunion details below….
Reunion of the Knights!
October 18th 2016 saw a reunion event hosted by the Spirit of Normandy Trust at North Weald Airfield in Essex. The airfield played a key role in World War 2 as a fighter base to protect London, flying Hurricanes and Bristol Blenheim night fighters and, later, flying Spitfires. Pilots flying from North Weald saw action over Dunkirk and in the Battle of Britain. It was therefore an appropriate place for a gathering of veterans of the Normandy campaign and almost 50 veterans attended the day, accompanied by family and friends.
In his welcoming speech Richard Palusinski, the Chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust, quoted the words of Madame Lebrat, the French Consul for the South West of England, speaking of the holders of the Legion d’Honneur as the Knights of our age.
The Trust’s new Patron, General the Lord Dannatt, spoke of his pleasure at being asked to become Patron of the Trust and of the historic events of 1944 on the beaches and in the fields and streets of Normandy.
The event continued with a parade of Standards and a memorial service led by Rev Mandy Reynolds.
The opportunity was taken to present prizes for the Young Historians’ competition. Isabella Prince received her prize for her excellent piece of work on the Bawdsey Manor Radar Site. Her school, Framlington College, also received a trophy and cheque.
After the formalities the veterans enjoyed a picnic lunch and entertainment provided by Diana Moore, singing some of the old favourite songs of the war years. Lodge’s Coaches provided transport in vintage coaches to a museum on the site and the assembled crowd watched a stunning air display by a Spitfire. There were also displays of military and civilian vehicles and of uniforms and equipment from the war period.
Here is a link to some photos taken by Peter Lloyd. Thank you for sharing Peter.