Our Association was formed at the Bedford
Arms, Dawes Road, Fulham, on February 27th 1948.
Its object then, as now, was to help
War Disabled persons, in their homes and hospitals, throughout
London and the Home Counties, by providing entertainment, outings,
and much needed specialised equipment.
The first of these outings, took place
in the same year, (1948). One to Brighton and one to Worthing.
25 taxis were used, to convey 50 War Disabled persons at a cost
Between 1951 and 1962, the Association
increased the number of patients taken annually, to Worthing,
from 50 to 120, involving 60 Taxi-cabs.
Proudly, after all these years, we include
patients from, The Royal Hospital-Chelsea, Royal Star and Garter,
- Richmond, St. David's Home, - Ealing, St.Dunstan's for the
Blind, - Chessington RAF Rehabilitation Centre, and The Woolwich
Military Hospital (which sadly is no longer), and many disabled
men, who still live in their own homes, which amounts to 450
disabled persons, at a cost of over £13,000 using 130 taxis stretching
over 5 miles.
These drivers provide their taxis, services,
and time free.
Over the past years, we have been fortunate
enough, to be honoured with many guests, including, H.R.H. Princess
Alexandra, H.R.H. Prince Philip, H.R.H. Duchess of Kent, Sir
Douglas Bader, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire V.C. and many celebrities
of T.V., Sports, and Theatre.
Unquestionably, this event is the highlight
of the year for these Ex-service men and women. Remembering,
that among them are a number who have been confined to hospital,
since WW1 and all the conflicts since. It becomes only too easy,
to understand, the eagerness, with which these outings are looked
forward to, and the great pleasure derived from them.
We are always looking to extend that
pleasure, by increasing the number of outings, and thereby including
more disabled persons.
We would like to thank all the people,
who, over the years, have given generously to this worthy cause,
and we will continue the good work, on your behalf.
Our aim is simple; to work for the BENEFIT, COMFORT
and ENJOYMENT for the War Disabled, to the best of
Year after year, drivers and committee members are prepared to give up
their time and money to bring happiness and pleasure into the lives
of these men, and women, who gave so much for us all.
Among the many outings that the L.T.B.A.W.D.
has undertaken over the years, two stand out.
The first being a journey of Remembrance.
On the 9th & 10th September 1987,
a return to Dunkirk was made by 200 disabled ex-servicemen.
At the cost of over £10,000, some 55
taxis, conveyed the war disabled from, The Royal Star & Garter
Home, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, The British Limbless Ex-Service
Men's Association, and War Disabled persons from their own homes.
After an early start, all of the taxis
met at Farthing Comer (M2) at 06.45am, and then drove to Ramsgate,
under Police escort. At the harbour, they all boarded a Sally
Line ferry, for the crossing to France.
On arriving at Dunkirk, all of the taxis,
in procession, drove to their hotels, via the Town hall, receiving
a wonderful reception from the crowds, along the way. After lunching
at the Europ Hotel, the afternoon was spent, visiting the War
Graves and attending a Service at the Cemetery. Dinner that evening
was again, at the Europ Hotel.
After breakfast the following morning
(the l0th), everyone attended a service, at the Beach Memorial
A visit was then made to the local Hypermarket,
and once shopping was completed, it was back to Ferry terminal
for the return journey home.
On their arrival back at Ramsgate, the
taxi drivers then made their way to their various destinations,
with their tired but happy veterans.
A truly marvellous experience, which
was greatly enjoyed by all.
The second outing was a 4 day commemorative
trip, to the Normandy beaches, for the 50th Anniversary of D-Day.
At a cost of £60,000, all of which,
was raised by donations from within and outside the Taxi Trade.
On Thursday 9th of June at 9.30am, 75
London Taxis drivers, were given the honour of assembling on
Horseguard's Parade, with 150 Normandy Veterans, to await the
arrival of H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
This must be one of the proudest moments,
in the history of the London Taxi Trade. The Queen Mother arrived
at lO.30am, accompanied by Dame Vera Lynn D.B.E. LLD. (in her
capacity, as Patron of the Association), and Field Marshall Lord
BramalI, the Lord Lieutenant of London.
The Queen Mother spoke to many of the
Normandy Veterans, including Tom Pugh and Gerry Cooper who are
Taxi Drivers, and also Committee Members of the Association.
Such was the occasion that the Changing
of the Guard was postponed, to allow this honour to take place.
What also made this day so very special,
was the fact that the Licensed Taxi Trade had its 300 year anniversary
in that very year.
Such an important anniversary to share
with the more important 50th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
So with the Band of the Scots Guards
playing, 75 London Taxis with their veterans on board, left Horseguard's
Parade via the Central Arch of Horseguard's Building.
The granting of permission for this
is almost without precedent, and the only time ever to be granted
to the London taxi trade.
So out to Whitehall and with Police
escort onto Portsmouth...
At Pompy, the "Normandie" was ready,
and waiting to take the whole convoy of taxis and veterans across
a calm Channel to France.
The excellent accommodation and a 4
day full itinerary had been centred on the little town of Caen.
This town which had seen so much destruction
during the war opened its heart to its liberators of 50 years
Visits to Pegasus Bridge, Abbaye Aux
Dames, The tiny port of Arromanches with its famous Beaches (Sword,
Gold, Juno, Utah, and Omaha), and a visit to the Military Cemetery
at Bayeux which was a moving and emotional occasion.
Four Days, in which the London Taxi
Benevolent Association for War Disabled lived up to its aims
to work for the BENEFIT, COMFORT, and ENJOYMENT,
for the War Disabled.
These are just 2 of the many outings
that have been provided over the years.
Others have included, visits to Maidstone
and Leeds Castle. Most notable of these took place in 1982 when,
among the guests were the wounded, from the Falklands Campaign.
These outings to Maidstone and Leeds
Castle continued through the 1980s until 1990, culminating with
the Battle of Britain Anniversary, which was held in honour of
the Few. The guests at some of these outings included Lady Mountbatten, Charlie
Chester, and Harry Sercombe.
So it continues; those aims that were
started, back in 1948, are still alive to this present day and
will continue as long as people within the Taxi Trade, are willing
to give their time and energy to help those, who have given so
much for their Country.