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WWII veterans invited on final trip back to the beaches

Fred Glover

Kind-hearted drivers of London’s iconic black cabs are making plans to transport hundreds of World War II veterans on a final trip back to the beaches of Normandy. The trip to Northern France will be the last of its scale organised by the Taxi Charity For Military Veterans - formerly known as The London Benevolent Association For War Disabled - as the number of veterans from the 1940 – 45 conflict who are able to make the trip is diminishing. Traditionally, the charity has supported veterans across the capital and the south east, but is keen to invite veterans from all over the UK to come together for the last trip. “The trip is completely free for the veterans and a family member or carer, all they need is beer money,” said Dick Goodwin, Vice President of the Taxi Charity Committee. "It would be brilliant if someone who hadn’t heard of the charity but is sat at home thinking they would love to join a trip like this got in touch. Maybe their children or grandchildren or a neighbour will hear about this and encourage them to join us. “We’ll be setting off from London so we can arrange to pick up veterans from mainline stations in the capital and arrange for an overnight stay so that they are refreshed for the journey the next day. Veterans can also join us at Portsmouth if they’d prefer or its closer.” The trip will take place between 4 – 8 June 2017 and include a remembrance service at the Pegasus Bridge Museum, the opportunity to lay wreaths at the Ranville war cemetery and trips to Bayeux and the beach at Arromanches. “Our youngest veterans are now touching 90, so very sadly the numbers that have the stamina and level of fitness for an overseas trip is falling every year,“ added Dick. “Last year, 64 cabbies took 98 veterans plus volunteers and paramedics to Ypres in Belgium and we’ll continue with our annual trip to Worthing, and a programme of events throughout the year but this is the last trip of this size. “There is a great spirit of friendship on our trips and the old chaps and ladies are great fun to be with. We want to let the veterans know that we are there for them.” The charity was voted the nation’s favourite voluntary/charity project in the 2016 National Lottery Awards. You can see a video about the charity and the award at To donate to support the #backtothebeaches trip, visit the website:

#BackToTheBeaches #Normandy2017 #FredGlover

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