The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled

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Dear Paul,

As one of the Normandy Vets your Charity took on the journey last week back to France, I just want to thank you
and the lads for the utmost generosity you showed us.

I'm most appreciative and I would like to mention Frank Costello [Cab No 83 ] our driver who looked after three of us with the utmost care.

Yours Sincerely

Anthony Tenison-Collins. 18.5.08.
Northwood Middlesex.

Dear Paul,

I feel I must write to thank you and the LONDON TAXI BENEVOLENT ASSO.for the fantastic outing to Normandy and tremendously hard work and organising you all had to do.

I have never met such helpful and caring people as drivers and officials, especially our driver Jim Moor who looked after us so well and was constantly looking for us to see if we were OK and wanted anything.

And thank you for allowing my wife to come as my carer as I couldn't have managed without her help.

Once again my heartfelt thanks for making this outing so memorable which I will never forget.


Stan Langdon. 15.5.08.
George Green, Slough, Bucks.


Dear Friends,

Please accept this letter as my thanks for our enjoyable and meaningful few days with you all in Normandy last week.

It was really unbelievable the way the whole trip was organized and to such a great success, the work you guys put in on our behalf was amazing, not forgetting the Drivers,every one involved not only the Veterans deserve a Medal.

As the organizer of the Arnhem Pilgrimage for the past 15 years for just one coach of 49 persons I know what
it takes to get these events off the ground,if ever I get the chance to meet up with any of you it would be my
pleasure to buy you a drink.I get the Opportunity to meet one of you each year,namely Dick Goodwin and Suzy
who join me in Arnhem each year.

and my Best Regards,

Wally Smith. 15.5.08.
Ramsgate, Kent.

Dear Mr Davis,

Just a few lines, to let you know how much we appreciated all you and the cab drivers together with the
Committee did for us on our recent trip to Normandy.

Something we will never forget. We wish everyone all the best for the future.

Yours Sincerely

Jeffrey Haward - 26.5.08.

Dear Paul,

I would like to thank you and your Committee for the marvellous time we enjoyed last week in Normandy. It certainly had taken some organising by you,all the way every thing was so well arranged.

We had a experience never to be forgotten from the locals of Normandy who made us so welcome.

Our driver Bernard was excellent and so helpful in so many ways.My son Paul was a real help to me.

Wishing you all the best,

kind Regards

Stuart H. Sinden. 16.5.08
Northwood Hills, Middlesex.

Dear Paul,

Thank you,your committee and the drivers much for arranging and taking me back Normandy.I can well appreciate all the hard work needed with the forward planning of such an undertaking,it needed courage too.To take a bunch of 83 year old plus blokes out of their armchairs.You did that and brought us back all very happy. Thanks.

If there's any way that we can be of help to your organisation please ask. Several of us [Portsmouth Branch N.V A. are also members of Market Garden Veterans, our Sussex operates from the Littlehampton, Rustington area we would be pleased to be of assistance on the South Coast.

Yours Sincerely John.

John Riley. 18.5.08.
Chichester, West Sussex.

Dear Mr.Davis,

Please excuse my note being a bit late but I had to bring wife home from "Respite Care" where she stayed while I went with you to Normandy.

I would like you, your committee,and all the drivers to accept my most sincere thanks for our wonderful trip to Normandy.My first time back after 64 years,those days will live in my thoughts forever. What a welcome they gave us.

The drivers were great especially my one, Brian Flanagan, he really did me proud waiting on me hand and foot.

Being that I stayed in the same hotel as the drivers,I often sat or stood alone, when in that position, I was always approached by a driver,and a nice friendly chat ensued they certainly are a grand bunch of fellows.

My thank to you all once again,you made this old chap very happy indeed, you're all doing a grand job,good health and happiness to you all for the future.

Thanks most sincerely,

Bill Gladden

W.J.Gladden. 15.5.08.

Dear Paul,

Thank you for the great time we all had on the Veterans Trip to Normandy. I thought every one coped wonderfully with the complicity of the whole visit.

Please accept the enclosed cheque as a personal " Thank You " to all involved in organising and carrying through the whole visit [ not least our drivers ] they all did a great job.

Many Thanks


J.L..Butcher 26.5.08.
Hayes Middlesex.

Dear Paul,

I had to write to thank you, and your friends for the fantastic break in Normandy. It is something I will never forget and I am sure I speak for all the Vets.

Have enclosed a couple of photos which I thought you may like especially as one is your own work.

Would you also give this small donation to your treasurer as a small thank you for a wonderful trip.

Yours Harry

Harry Mercer

Rotherham. 15.5.08

Dear Paul & Mrs.Davis,

I don't expect a reply to this letter as you must have mountains of mail to deal with.

However,I feel I must write to say thank you so much for the trip to Normandy last week.It must have been an enormous task to organise it all,but rest assured, your efforts were appreciated by us all.

We were so fortunate with the weather,and all the places we went to we were made so welcome by the people of Normandy.I'm sure they will always carry on thanking us for our efforts in 1944.

The Cab Drivers as usual did a sterling job, theywere so helpful.

As we are now living in Sussex I hope we will be allowed to join you all in Worthing on the 10 June, making our own way there of cause.

Once again thank you so very much for your efforts.

Yours Sincerely

H. Baggalley.

Haywards Heath, West Sussex. 20th May 2008

Dear Paul,

We felt we just had to write and thank you so much for a wonderful trip back to Normandy. We enjoyed it so much and do appreciate all the hard work involved in arranging suck a large group and our Taxi Driver Tony looked after so well.

We made so many new friends and comrades. The weather could not have been better,the hotel excellent and also the hospitality of the French People unsurpassed.

Many, many thanks again and trust you and your family keep well.


Bill & Phyllis Kingsmore.

Knock Belfast. 19th May 2008

Dear Paul

Pilgrimage to Normandy 7—11 May

I have deliberately delayed writing to you, until our May meeting, after our visit to Normandy earlier in May, so that I could speak on behalf of all 8 members, plus one Carer, who were your guests. Mind you, although now in a position to so do, I have an impossible task. How does one convey the heartfelt thanks of all of us, to you personally, to your organisation and to the splendid drivers?

As far as you and your Benevolent Association are concerned, one can only stand and salute the work that so obviously went into the whole 5 days. Having some experience of organising functions in my working life (including 650 sitting down in the Guidhall with the Lord Mayor, the 2 Sheriffs and the Papal Nuncio arranged by myself and my PA but with the invaluable guidance of the City Swordbearer) I can claim to have some idea of the minute detail which you had to employ to bring about such an interesting yet comprehensive programme. There are no words that can reflect our adequate thanks but be assured that we are full of gratitude to you and your colleagues for everything, hospitality, care and kindness.

And, as for the drivers, what can one say. We all experienced the same care, consideration, friendliness and help, not simply from our ‘own driver’ but from anyone of them who happened to be there at the time when we needed assistance — and never a cross word. Yet we are quite aware that all of them gave up at least 3 days earnings to take us, and some even 4 or 5, and they thought nothing of it. Even you, as Organizer, are Honorary! We gave much in our youth but you chaps are still giving year after year. I have, of course, written to ‘my own’ driver, Fred Jones, but, if you have a newsletter or similar publication by which to tell them of our thanks, please do so with our gratitude.

There is no way that we can repay such kindness but the Branch voted to send you a donation of £100 and then individual participants contributed a further £100, so here is our cheque for £200 to aid your future work in some small way. I was asked by one my members to enquire about the ‘official’ photographs that were taken, although I’m diffident so to do as one’s mind boggles at the thought of the logistics in trying to circulate and take orders for particular pictures. On the other hand, it may well be that someone somewhere will mount an exhibition of them for individuals to visit and select. Well, at least I asked - and I’m not holding my breath.

Ken Hay - 29 May 2008
Branch Secretary Treasurer

Dear Paul

I have two dear friends, whom, when I told them of the recent Normandy trip, decided to hold a small raffle at the Monday Club of Waimley Social Club, Sutton Coldfield, where they are members. This took place on Monday 12 May. They collected £88, which I have converted into a cheque.


Paul -21 May 2008
Paul Crowton Taxis

Dear Paul.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, your committee, and all the lads who so gave up their time to take us back to Normandy.

To say we had a fantastic time would be a gross under-statement. The kindness shown by all your members was unbelievable.. It goes without saying Paul that if there is anything I can do to help your cause, please do not hesitate to call.

I apologize for not writing sooner but having the bug put me behind with all the other jobs.
I look forward to seeing you in the near future

My best wishes to your dear wife.

Yours Sincerely

Ted Roberts 28th May 2008
Croydon & District Branch No.75

Dear Paul,

Just to say thank you very much for a wonderful trip to Normandy.
You Cabbies were fantastic and your organising absolutely super.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Coombe - 18th May 2008.

Dear Sir

I was most fortunate to be invited to attend the recent trip to Normandy, your organisation kindly organised for the Veterans 7th1 1th May 2008.

The trip was incredibly well organised and enjoyable, so much so it will live in my memory for many years to come. All your drivers were magnificent, so helpful and considerate. The work your committee put in must have taken so much time and effort for which we are extremely grateful.

Thank you for a truly fantastic time.

Yours Sincerely

Mr D V Hosgood 19th May 2008

Dear Paul

It has taken a week to recover from the wonderful trip you gave us but at last I can get around to expressing our collective gratitude to you and all involved in setting it up.

The staff work in making all the arrangements could not have fallen far short of those for our original descent on Normandy - it really was terrific. And the care taken of us all by our drivers was equally terrific. So too the attention by your opposite numbers at Normandie Memoire and all those places we visited - not to mention our smart escort of motorcycle ‘flics’, whom I am quite sure were actually enjoying themselves.

It continues to amaze us how not only Normans of our generation but the younger ones too come up to us with a quiet “Thank you”. We are grateful they have forgiven us for the great damage and loss of civilian life we were obliged to inflict to get rid of the Nazi tyranny. The Minister’s speech at the impressive VE commemoration was very well put.

So thank you one and all for such a memorable and moving trip. We hope you found it so despite the hard work.. Our Branch hopes to express its thanks in a more tangible way in due course but, having just had time to wash my socks, I’m off to visit family in the States on Friday.

With best regards to you all, many thanks again and in comradeship,

Chairman – 19th May 2008

Dear Paul,

Thank you seems so inadequate for the fantastic time that you gave us on the visit to Normandy. I can honestly say that this was the most enjoyable one out of the many that I have attended over the past years. From we travellers point of view everything went so smoothly and, as for the drivers, they were fantastic and did so much for us. I cannot remember the last time I was so spoilt!!

As I have the job of organising my NVA Branches various visits I know the hard work that you and your Committee put into this in dealing with so many of we ‘Old Codgers’— and I only have to arrange one coach load!!!

I enclose a small contribution towards your charity.

Again many thanks it really was appreciated.

Yours very sincerely,

George R Batts. 19th May 2008

Dear Paul,

I am really pleased to enclose the cheque from the Sheehan family for sponsorship of the trip to Normandy.
As requested by Mrs Sheehan, please could you forward a receipt for the amount as they will require this for the tax purposes.

The trip was a huge success, all my passengers had a really good (if emotional) time and I take my hat off to the organisers.

Hope to hear from you soon Kind regards

Bernard Watterson - 16 May 2008.

Dear Paul

Just to record my will thanks to the LTBA for the splendidly organised trip of veterans to Normandy, 7th – 11th May. I am enclosing my cheque for £50 in aid of the Association’s funds and do hope in that this sum, although small in respect of the overall cost of a holiday in Normandy, will be a welcome contribution.

It was a great pleasure to meet my driver, Andy Jaffray, as well as John Boag and others - I had the good luck to be accommodated in the same hotel as the drivers and shared evening with them in the lounge. A good friendly lot, my only complaint...., not being permitted to pay my turn at the bar!

Once again, thank you all for a real treat, long to be remembered.

Freddie Morley - 19th May 2008

Dear Paul

I write to thank you and The London Taxi Benevolent Association and all the gentlemen and ladies who made it possible for me and all the other veterans to enjoy such a wonderful holiday over in Normandy. It was more than a holiday; it was an experience; a dream come true for me. I have had memories visiting those places where we landed sixty four years ago for many years and but for you-and your Association I doubt whether I would have made it. You made it possible and I am so grateful to you all for offering me the opportunity to be there.

The welcome you gave us and the joy and pleasure you generated was overwhelming making it all a memory never to be forgotten. Our driver John Harris looked after us like his own family as did all the drivers. I have spent the last week or so extolling all the pleasures your association generates to such people as us and other people like the children you take to Disney World in Paris each year and they find it so rewarding that such generosity still exists in this country of ours and makes it a better place to live.

I thank you all for such a wonderful and memorable holiday; may God bless your work and pray that it continues to be ever so successful.

Yours in deep gratitude

Robin Bestford - 23/05/2008

Dear Mr Davis,

Re: Lunch and tea at the Assembly Rooms Worthing 20.6.06

Thank you for inviting us again this year, our gentlemen residents and escorts enjoyed the day enormously. The entertainment and community singing bring back many memories.

Thank you for your continued support of Queen Alexandra Hospital Home.

Yours sincerely

Mrs. Valerie Walker - 23rd June 2006

Matron - Queen Alexandra Hospital Home

Dear Paul

Once again I must ask you to convey to the chairman and officers of the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled, the sincere thanks of my wife and myself for your kind hospitality yesterday. Yet again the outing to Worthing was a wonderful occasion which was clearly appreciated by all the veterans present.

The presence of HRH The Duchess of Gloucester served to highlight the high regard in which the work of the charity is held and gave well deserved recognition to the good work that you do. The continued presence of your patron Dame Vera Lynn on these outings further reinforces that. However, this year's outing was made all the more special by the presence of Henry Allingham who, at 110 years of age, brought alive the realities of the First World War in which he served and which could otherwise be regarded merely as fading history. I felt privileged to speak with him.
It is invidious to single out any particular member of the committee or, indeed, any particular driver since the event would not be what it is without the effort of all involved. However, on this occasion I must make special mention of Doug Sherry's catering and entertainment which were both very well received.

I extend my sincere congratulations to everyone involved for a very special day and wish you all the best for the future.

Yours sincerely

Roy Ellis

Head of the Public Carriage Office - 21 June 2006

Dear Paul

Please find enclosed cheque for £100.00 for The London Taxi Benevolent Association for the War Disabled.

We in the SE Region of the G.C.I.A. would like to thank you and your Association for arranging the Taxi Cabs to transport our Veterans and their helpers to the Union Jack Club from the Tower.

We are especially grateful to your drivers in the efficient, helpful, courteous and professional manner in which they looked after our veterans, and we cannot thank them enough, they are a real credit to their profession. We cannot speak highly enough of them please pass on our special thanks to them all.

A special thanks to Bill Ward (the man on the ground) for the expert manner in which he arranged the departures of the taxi's, it all went like clockwork, absolutely wonderful, which meant they all had plenty of time for a few pints before the lunch.
We hope to have another Service and Re-Dedication at All Hallows Church followed by a Wreath Lying at the Memorial, then on to lunch at the Union Jack Club. If we could use your Association -services again it would be great, as some of them said you made it possible for them to attend, and other comrades who were concerned about getting to the lunch would also have attended but they will know next time.

They all had a wonderful day out; they do so enjoy getting together and reminiscing about the time they spent in Malta, defending that little Island through the Siege. If the convoy called Pedestal that limped into Malta's Grand Harbour on the 15 August albeit only 4 merchant ships and the tanker HMS Ohio, from all the ships that started out, the island would have had to surrender. Although a small island, if Malta had fallen the result of WWII could well have been very different.

Thank you once again; John Endacott thanks you for your kind wishes

Yours sincerely

Lady Chairman George Cross Island Association SE Region - 16th August 2006

Dear Mr Davis

My husband, Bob Davies, who is partially sighted, has asked me to write to say how much he appreciated and enjoyed the day at Worthing last Tuesday.

Once he again he was most impressed with the wonderful organisation of the whole trip and with the kindness of all your colleagues who, he said, treated the veterans like royalty. He was particularly grateful to his excellent driver, Michael Epsted.

Yours sincerely

Mrs B D Davies - 23 June 2006

Dear Paul

I was delighted to meet you all last Tuesday when HRH The Duchess of Gloucester attended the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled visit to Worthing. Thank you for returning to Worthing for the 58th time and we all hope you will continue for at least the next 58 years. It is always a pleasure to meet the taxi drivers who give up their time and so many of the veterans who have sacrificed so much for the benefit of others.

Good luck with all of your fundraising initiatives. I was asked if Worthing would consider placing a plaque to commemorate to association of The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled with Worthing, can I suggest that we save it for the 60th visit in 2 years time? I promise you that I will give it my full support and I am confident that the Council would agree to such a plaque being placed within the Town Hall.

With kind regards

Major Tom Wye MBE - June 2006
Mayor of Worthing

Dear Paul,

Just a quick email to say thanks to you (and indeed to Janet) for letting me discover what a terrific day the war veterans outing was. I came home that evening extremely humbled to have been in the company of such decent people.

Infact Peter and Joan, the vets I took to Worthing, were so taken by me that they want me to take them again next year!

Certainly one of the best days of the-year for me so far!


Robert Richland -27th June 2006

To The Editor,

On Thursday 7th July 2005 The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled were honoured with an invitation from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to attend a reception at Clarence House.

At about 9.30am. Forty six taxis along with ex-second world veterans from various campaigns along with our Patron Dame Vera Lynn. DBE. LL.D. assembled in Carlton House Terrace. A photographer from The Royal British Legion attended and took several group photos on The Duke of York Steps and pictures of all the taxi's decorated with union flags. The convey of taxi's then moved off down Pall Mall and into Marlborough Gate and road, turned right onto the Mall and right into Stable Yard were we were due to park in the grounds of Clarence House but because of the terrorist explosions in London that morning we were not allowed to but were directed to The Horse Ride outside.

The veterans along with the divers were then escorted across to The Living Museum in St. James Park by service personnel past the large queue via a VIP entrance. The visit coincided with Veterans Awareness Week and the anniversary of the Second World War where the veterans, went their separate ways to look at the exhibits and demonstrations.

At 2.15pm. Everybody assembled back in Stable Yard for the security checks before we made our way into Clarence House, The President of L.T.B.A.W.D. Mr Harry Joel MBE. Dame Vera Lynn DBE. LL.D. The Chairman Mr Michael Calvey and The Secretary Mr Paul Davis were presented to H.RH. The Prince of Wales who was accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall H.R.H The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were then accompanied into the reception by the aforementioned committee members where they were introduced to all the veterans and drivers informally. Mrs Green one of the veteran gave H.R.H. The Prince of Wales a lapel badge which she said held a great deal of sentimental 'value to her, to the delight of Mrs Green The Prince of Wales then immediately put it in his own lapel, Mr Jack Culshaw presented H.R.H. The Prince of Wales with a book.

After a very memorable reception H.RH The Prince of Wales made a short speech in which he thanked us all for attending and said that having met all of the taxi charities at a reception last year he was impressed by what he had been told about the L.T.B.A.W.D. and what they do for the veterans and so he had decided to invite the charity and veterans to a separate reception. The Chairman thanked His Royal Highness and presented him with a mounted London Taxi Licence Plate together with a green and yellow taxi driver badges. The Secretary then presented The Duchess of Cornwall with a potted orchid which we were given to understand is her favourite flower. We were disappointed that the official photographer was unable to attend because of the traffic congestion.

It was then time to leave Clarence House and go to The Tower Thistle Hotel. The Manager had been most helpful in assisting us to arrange the meal. Unfortunately because of the terrorist activity we were advised to stay in St. James Park. We made a quick phone call to the hotel explained our situation and although disappointed they understood that the main concern was for the safety of the drivers and veterans. Our grateful thanks to the management who refused to accept a cancellation fee.

A quick meeting of the committee then took place and a decision was taken to see if the Manager of The Living Museum could feed us all. Fortunately he was able to help so all of our party was fed and watered before the day came to a memorable end.

We have subsequently received a letter of thanks and best wishes to all veterans and drivers from HRH the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

What started as a very enjoyable day for the L TBA WD and the taxi trade was married by the sad events that unfolded during the course of the day. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffered.

Derek Leone. Hon P.R.O.

Dear Paul

Would you please convey to the Chairman and Officers of the L TBFWD the sincere thanks of myself and my wife for your kind hospitality on Tuesday. The annual outing to Worthing was, once again, most enjoyable. Geraldine and I continue to be most impressed with the work that you do and it is quite apparent that all your guests are most appreciative. It occurs to me that the continued presence of your patron Dame Vera is, in itself, testimony to the value that is placed on all your hard work.

Insofar as I am able, I will continue to offer the support of myself and the PCO to the good cause which the LTDFWD represents and extend my best wishes to all those who give their time to the charity.

Roy Ellis - Head of Public Carriage Office - 17th June 2005

"Dear Paul

Thank you once again for a wonderful day on the 14th.
I enclose a cheque for the London Taxi Benevolent Association as a small Token of my appreciation for all the hard work that goes into the organisation for the benefit of the veterans"

Dennis Black - 29th June 2005

“Dear Mr Davis

I am writing on behalf of my husband, who is partially sighted so is unable to write himself, to say a big thank you to your Association fro a wonderful day out last Tuesday.

He tells me that the arrangements were superb and everything was a delight and everyone was so kind. He was impressed by your speakers particularly Colonel Collins and yourself. He has already called Ken Fairborn, the taxi driver, who was absolutely terrific and made it a perfect day out."

On behalf of Bob Davies - 16th June 2005

“Dear Mr Davis

I would like to thank on behalf of my friend Ted Turner and myself for the wonderful day out to Worthing which we enjoyed yesterday. The kindness and consideration shown by all the members of your Association were very much appreciated. Our driver, Mr Paul Jenner could not do enough for us, we had a day to remember which was made perfect by the staff of waiter and waitresses at the Civic Centre and the ENSA style entertainment!

We were very impressed with the by the Guest Of Honour (Col. Collins) who in his speech spoke for many, if not all of us.

Another day out to be remembered, thank you once again”

Terry Robinson - 15th June 2005

"Dear Secretary

Would you please convey to the committee and members my heartfelt thanks for a great day out at Worthing . The efforts you go to, to make it a day out to remember is greatly appreciated by us vets.

The fact that many of your drivers are a different generation and yet still carry on the good work you started in 1948 shows how much they care.

Special thanks to Dickie Hudd (committee) and John Rowland (driver) for their care and consideration.

So thank you all again for the efforts. May I also add that every vet I spoke to was full of praise for what you had done. "

C.W Barker - 15 th June 2005

"Dear Secretary

A very big ‘THANK YOU’ from my oppo Edy Blacklock and myself Bob Stoddart, for the wonderful day on the outing to Worthing. Thank you once again and all those smashing lads the drivers and those involved int eh hard work that it must take."

Bob Stoddart - 15 th June 2005

" Dear Hon Secretary

Yesterday I went on my first London Taxi Driver Outing. I must say the whole was fine. The driver I had Mr Derek Bowker was excellent.

It made the whole wartime experience almost worth it. So thank all your staff and the driver for making our ex RAF Instrument repairing wartime experience almost worth it. "

Cliff C. Davies - 15th June 2005

" Dear Martin

This week must not pass without saying a Big Thank You, to you your committee members and taxi drivers.

Giving the opportunity for so many veterans from every campaign since world wars. To meet annually on an outing specially for them by the supreme organisation The London Taxi Benevolent Ass’n fro War Disabled.

Our outing to Worthing via South Holmwood was enjoyed by all of us.

God bless you all with our kind regards. "

Billy & Girlie - 16th June 2005

"Dear Mr Davis,

Iam writing to say thank you for a marvellous day out, it was the first time I had been, and I shall never forget it.I met many friends from the Dagenham branch of the British Legion,and spoke to many men who were in the same theatre of war as I. It was a memorable day,Ishall never forget it. The hospitality was superb,the cab drivers were wonderful.Thank you once again "

Jim Dooley 16th June 2005




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