The Taxi Charity took a small group of veterans to the Netherlands over the weekend of 24 - 27 February to visit the Airborne Museum.
This museum visit was originally planned for 2020 when the charity volunteers and veterans arrived in the Netherlands on 12 March. Unfortunately, this was the same day that pandemic restrictions were announced, and the museum closed. Two years later they were finally able to make their long-awaited return.
The group from the Taxi Charity was welcomed to the museum by the director, Ronnie Weijers, who said: "It’s a great honour for me to be able to welcome the veterans to the museum. Your courage and your sacrifice will always be remembered, and we are so glad you are here."
WWII veteran, Dickie Forrester, said: "The museum is very impressive, entertaining and realistic. Most of those who fought here in Arnhem are no longer with us, so this has been a very emotional visit. As time marches on, it's easy to not remember, but we mustn’t forget, and fortunately I think there are enough people in the younger generations who want to carry on the traditions of remembrance."
Dick Goodwin, vice president of the Taxi Charity, said: "It has been two years since we were in the Netherlands, and we were delighted to finally see the wonderful new displays and refit at the Airborne Museum. The people of the Netherlands always give us the warmest welcome and everywhere we go people from each generation come forward to personally thank the veterans for fighting for their freedom."
After the visit to the museum, the veterans enjoyed lunch at the Hotel De Wereld in Wageningen, where the official surrender was signed. They then visited the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Oosterbeek where they laid wreaths and visited the graves of their friends and comrades.
Overnight ferry form Harwich to The Hook of Holland
Veterans met the Mayoress of Renkum over lunch
Dinner with guests from the Market Garden Foundation, Airborne Commemorations Foundation, The Airborne Museum, Airborne Wandeltocht, The 4-5 May Committee and the Royal Netherlands Army
Visit to Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek
Lunch at Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen
Visit to the Oosterbeek CWGC
Return to the UK
Picture credits: Dick Goodwin, Taxi Charity
For additional photos, courtesy of Arjan Vrieze, visit our Facebook page or our Flickr channel.