As one of the Normandy Vets your Charity took
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
Anthony Tenison-Collins. 18.5.08.
I feel I must write to thank you and the LONDON
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
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.
" THE CLOGGERS "
Please accept this letter as
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.
So again a BIG THANK YOU ALL.
and my Best Regards,
Wally Smith. 15.5.08.
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.
Jeffrey Haward - 26.5.08.
THE DIE HARDS -
THE MIDDLESEX REGIMENT
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
Our driver Bernard was excellent and so helpful in so many ways.My son Paul
real help to me.
Wishing you all the best,
Stuart H. Sinden. 16.5.08
Northwood Hills, Middlesex.
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
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
assistance on the South Coast.
Yours Sincerely John.
John Riley. 18.5.08.
Chichester, West Sussex.
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
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
they certainly are a grand bunch of fellows.
My thank to you all once again,you made this old chap very happy indeed,
doing a grand job,good health and happiness to you all for the future.
Thanks most sincerely,
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.
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
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
thank you for a wonderful trip.
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
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
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.
Haywards Heath, West Sussex. 20th May 2008
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
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
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
NORMANDY VETERANS ASSOCIATION
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
Paul -21 May 2008
Paul Crowton Taxis
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
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.
Ted Roberts 28th May 2008
NORMANDY VETERANS ASSOCIATION
Croydon & District Branch No.75
Just to say thank you very much for a wonderful trip to Normandy.
You Cabbies were fantastic and your organising absolutely super.
Bill Coombe - 18th May 2008.
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.
Mr D V Hosgood 19th May 2008
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
WEST MIDDLESEX No.77 BRANCH
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
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
Hope to hear from you soon Kind regards
Bernard Watterson - 16 May 2008.
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
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
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
Mrs. Valerie Walker - 23rd June 2006
Matron - Queen Alexandra Hospital Home
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.
Head of the Public Carriage Office - 21 June 2006
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
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
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.
Mrs B D Davies - 23 June 2006
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
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
Derek Leone. Hon P.R.O.
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
Thank you once again for a wonderful day on the
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
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
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
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
Our outing to Worthing via South Holmwood was enjoyed by all
God bless you all with our
kind regards. "
Billy & Girlie - 16th
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