We are pleased to announce that following two previous and successful events, we are planning a reunion for Normandy Veterans over the weekend of 29th September to the 1st of October. Working closely with Return to Normandy, we expect to commence the weekend with a reception and light buffest on the Friday evening, a reunion event on the Saturday during the day, followed by a dinner in the evening. The weekend will draw to a close with a Commemorative Service on the Sunday morning. More details soon, but if you are interested in coming along to part or all of the weekend, please get in touch.
On 10th January 2017 the funeral took place, in Cheux, France, of Robert Fieffé a well known figure at Aldershot Airborne Forces Day. Robert used to annually bring his group of ex Para’s to the UK and many will have personally known him and have fond memories.
The Aldershot branch of the PRA first met Robert, when one year on a visit to France they found their hotel double booked. Robert immediately organised all the villagers of Cheux who welcomed many as guests into their homes.
He was too young to join the Forces during the war, but took an active part in helping the French Resistance by delivering messages on his bicycle
Robert was instrumental as a leading figure in restoring Pegasus Bridge and the new Museum. He was well known and respected throughout Normandy and will be greatly missed.
The Trust pays for a plot at this ceremony every year and the Trust is represented by a Trustee and if at all possible accompanied by a Veteran of the Campaign. This year Ian Stewart, Vice-Chairman of the Trust was present with Veteran Don Sheppard from the Southend Normandy Veterans Branch. A cold day for the event but a dry one and we were all grateful for that at least.
In June 2017, The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled will be taking 150 World War Two veterans in 90 London Taxis on a five day visit to Normandy.
The charity is inviting Associations and Charities, who may have World War Two veterans in their ranks to register their details with us if they would like to be considered for a place on the trip. A full but gentle itinerary has been planned to take into account the age of the veterans accompanying us. Carers are permitted to accompany veterans but it is hoped we can keep carers to a minimum to allow us to take as many veterans as possible. All travel is in a London licensed taxi and where possible, veterans are picked up from their homes in London and the South East. Veterans unable to be picked up at home may join the trip at the Union Jack Club or at Portsmouth Harbour.
The trip is free for veterans and their carers. For more information and / or to register an interest please contact Dick Goodwin on 01920 464748 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Charity Reg. No. 264678
The Spirit of Normandy Trust was proud and delighted that six Normandy Veterans, carers and supporters joined the Trust’s contingent at the 2016 Cenotaph parade on the 13th November. They were under the watchful eye of WO Baz Firth MBE, who acted as Platoon Commander, whose care and attention to detail was second to none and to whom we are extremely grateful. The veterans travelled from as far away as Cheshire and Wiltshire to attend and regrettably, at the last minute, two veterans were unable to join the group because of ill health. The event proved a “mammoth” effort for the veterans now all well into their 90’s. Everyone was required to be at Horseguards by 9am but did not “fall in” for the parade until around 11:30am and then proudly undertook the mile long march. A few were pushed in wheelchairs but two of the veterans marched the whole route unaided. It is regrettable that so many of the contingents that include WW2 veterans are so far back in the parade especially as it should be appreciated that there won’t be many years when they will be able to attend this very special parade. Thank you again Baz, also not forgetting his wife and son, the veterans, their carers and the others who were such a great support on the day.
This is a Veteran who travelled down from Cheshire and was accompanied by his grandson who flew over from the US to join him at the parade.