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Group of Second World War veterans meet for lunch in London, Evening Standard

The 30 ex-soldiers congregated in the RAF Club for lunch on Friday afternoon.

A group of Second World War veterans have met up for lunch in central London.

The 30 former soldiers – some who were on the Arctic convoys, members of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and veterans who landed at Normandy – congregated in the RAF Club on Friday afternoon.

It was organised by the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, run by volunteer London black cab drivers who arrange free trips for those who have served, to celebrate the group’s 75th anniversary.

The group, all from the south and south-east of England, got together after being driven in taxis and were welcomed by Air Vice Marshall Tim Neil-Hopes.

Ken Hay, Tommy Schaffer, Ernie Davis, John King and Peter Kent were among those in attendance.

Brian Heffernan, the chairman of the organisation, said: “Today kicked off our 75th anniversary, so the whole idea was to get the veterans together but also at some stage look to raise £75,000 for the coming year.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic day, to get 30 veterans together is amazing. They were all delivered here safely by taxi drivers, myself being one of them. It’s all voluntary and we’re all committed to the cause.

“It’s not often that you’re gonna get 30 veterans of this age hanging around, how many more years have we got left of them? The golden generation gets thinner and thinner and to have them in our company for a day is amazing.

“Today was a lunch and a meeting of old friends again, having tea, sandwiches and alcohol, just a general chit chat, all sat together.

“They’ve all been through the same experiences as each other; they really embrace each other when they meet up. It’s a very small family now and I’ll be sad when they’re all gone.”


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