On Sunday 16 August 2015, we received the following thank you note in an email from Anne Redston, who accompanied her father and stepmother to the VJ Day commemorations the previous day.
Anne's dad, Bill (Don) Redston was First Lieutenant, Motor gunboat 191 with the Royal Naval Coastal Force, which attacked up through the Irrawaddy river in Burma.
Anne's email is included below with her permission. Thank you, Anne. We are honoured to have been part of your dad's special day.
I am the daughter of a VJ day veteran whose day was immensely improved by the generous, friendly and respectful help given free by your London cabbies.
My dad is 90 and finds walking difficult and painful. He struggled to get from the train to the taxi rank at Euston, making multiple stops. But we were then whisked away in a black cab driving smoothly through the heavy traffic and dropped at exactly the right place. We’d been told the taxi was free but the generous cabbie even refused a tip.
At the end of the day he was exhilerated but exhausted and anxious about whether he would find a taxi back. Then, across the road from the Abbey was a line of 100 or so taxis, waiting patiently, giving up their fares, to take him and others back to their stations.
Had he had to find a taxi on the street at that point it would have been a real struggle, and risked damaging his wonderful memories of the day. Instead, your driver allowed the day to finish with a flourish. My dad has arrived home happy and full of wonderful memories, including his two free taxi rides, thanks to your members’ kindness.
Finally, your taxi marshall at Euston told us how we could ring up to get a little buggy to take my dad from the taxi drop off point to the train on the return journey, and that prevented a repeat of the painful crossing of the concourse which had happened on the way out.
Thank you so much
Photo of Anne's stepmother and father, Jean Barmer and Bill Redston, at VJ Day commemorations in London on Saturday 15 August 2015.