On 31st August 7 volunteer cab drivers from the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans boarded the Harwich ferry bound for the Hook of Holland.
They were taking Airborne Division survivors back to Arnhem as part of the Dutch people’s annual commemorations.
On arrival we were received by the British Ambassador to the Netherlands at his official residence and this set the scene for the whole trip.
Wherever we went the veterans were given the warmest possible welcome.
That evening we were visited by the region’s Mayor and various other local dignitaries, all anxious to greet these elderly men.
The centrepiece of the visit was the Wandeltocht: this is a march held each year by the Dutch as an act of gratitude for the Airborne Regiment’s bravery.
This year 38,000 took part.
Three of our group walked the full 25 miles, and two more completed the 15 mile section.
Everywhere one looked there were Airborne flags flying – it was the most extraordinary experience and one to be strongly recommended.
The following day saw an emotionally charged visit to the cemetery at Oosterbeek.
All our veterans had friends and colleagues lying there whom they remember year after year.
Afterwards we toured Deelen airfield. This had been a German night fighter base and is now used by the Royal Dutch Airforce.
The honour paid to our veterans by the Dutch people is outstanding.
The trip might have been small in numbers but the generosity of spirit was immeasurable. It was a wonderful experience for us all.
Frances Luczyc Wyhowska