On Sunday 9 July, artist Tim Godden made the 300 mile journey from his home in North Devon to meet 99-year-old WWII veteran, Bill Gladden, in Suffolk.
At the meeting, Tim presented Bill with an illustration depicting Bill on D-Day, and Bill presented Tim with a painting of Tim’s pet cat, Percy.
An artist and historian, Tim Godden, is currently working on a personal project to illustrate WWII veterans, with a particular focus on Normandy. He contacted the Taxi Charity to see if they would be happy to facilitate a meeting with WWII veteran, Bill Gladden, not knowing that Bill also had a love of art. Bill was delighted to arrange a meeting with Tim and offered to paint a portrait of his pet cat.
Tim said: "It was an absolute honour to meet Bill Gladden and I would like to thank the Taxi Charity and Bill’s family for facilitating this. I have painted four other veterans, and with the support of the Taxi Charity, I am hoping to paint and meet more. Bill kindly signed a copy of the illustration and I hope that it will raise some funds for the Taxi Charity."
Dick Goodwin, Honorary Secretary of the Taxi Charity, said: "Knowing of Bill’s lifelong love of painting, we were only too happy to arrange the meeting between him and Tim for the art exchange. As a charity that is wholly reliant on donations, we are very grateful to Tim for his promise to auction a signed copy of his picture of Bill and are looking forward to facilitating other meetings with veterans we support."
The print of Tim’s illustration, which is signed by the artist and Bill, will be auctioned to raise funds for the Taxi Charity.
About Bill Gladden
Bill served with the 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment and flew into Normandy on D-Day in a glider. He landed in Ranville and took part in the initial contact to start the liberation of France. On 19 June, Bill was resting in an orchard when a Panzer tank broke through the lines and fired into the orchard. Bill was hit, seriously injuring his leg. He was first taken to a barn, where his life was saved, and later transferred to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, where as the only non-RAF patient, the skill of the renowned surgeon Archibald McIndoe saved his leg.
To find our more about Tim Godden, visit www.timgodden.co.uk.