Visit to the Netherlands, May 2012
Len Brace, who served with 11 Air Formation Signals from January 1943 until June 1947 and lives in Ilford, has been on a 5-day trip to Arnheim, courtesy of the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled (LTBAWD).
On 2 May 2012 80 taxis, carrying 160 veterans, boarded the Stenna Line ferry and travelled from Harwich. They arrived at the Papendal Hotel, Arnheim, at 11.00am the following day. In a very busy programme, the following places were visited: the Bronbeek Veterans Home, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Oosterbeek (where wreaths were
laid), the Nationaal Bevrijdings Museum at Groesbeek (for a Service of Remembrance), the National Liberation Day Service at Rehen, the Oosterbeek Airborne Museum where a Dutch pipe band was in attendance and in a very moving ceremony local schoolchildren exchanged gifts with the veterans and the Dutch National Liberation Parade held at Wageningen.
On the final evening a formal dinner with Dutch guests and hosts plus entertainment was held. The veterans returned by ferry and ended the trip with a Remembrance Service at the stern of the ship, returning to Harwich after a round trip of 560 miles. The LTBAWD takes war veterans, by taxi, from the London area to Worthing each year for a day by the sea and to the War and Peace Show at Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent.