Taxi Charity escorts group of veterans to Normandy for the D-Day commemorations



London cab drivers who volunteer for the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans took a group of 24 veterans to Normandy for six days for the D-Day commemorations. The trip included visits to the British Normandy Memorial and the Juno Beach Centre, ceremonies of remembrance at Grangues, the Pegasus Memorial and the Ranville Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery, an afternoon with students from a school in Cabourg and a meeting with the D-Day Commemoration Committee.


Normandy veteran, Bill Gladden, who served with the 6th Airborne, Recce Regiment, said: "I flew into Normandy in a glider on D-Day and I have been fortunate to have been coming on trips for years with the Taxi Charity to remember the friends that I lost. I cannot thank the charity and all the volunteer drivers for the care they take with us. This year they arranged for me to say the Khomia Epitaph at the remembrance service at Memorial Pegasus which was a real honour. The London cab drivers are so kind to us and as soon as locals and visitors see the convoy of taxis, they applaud and cheer as we drive past. I know they aren’t just thanking us but thanking the cabbies who take the time to drive us. I’m 98, so a trip to Normandy would be unthinkable without the charity. They pick me and my niece up from home in a black cab, give us a fabulous week away and then return us to our door. They are a very special group of men and women."


Dick Goodwin, vice president of the Taxi Charity, said: "After not being able to visit Normandy since 2019, it was a pleasure to finally be able to return these veterans to France to remember those who did not come home. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on fundraising for all charities and we are no different. Our veterans, their carers, and the volunteer cab drivers who generously give their time to drive us, do not pay for the trips and although it is our greatest wish to be able to return to Normandy in 2023, we need donations and support for our fundraising activities to make future trips possible."


View full photo galleries from Associated Press and Dean Euesden.




 

Full Itinerary



Friday 3 June 2022


21:30 Arrival of the Portsmouth – Ouistreham ferry at Ouistreham

30 min drive to the Kyriad Prestige Hotel in Dives-Cabourg



Saturday 4 June 2022



11:00 Garden of remembrance at Arromanches

13:30 Lunch at Lion-sur-Mer

15:30 Free afternoon to go to special personal places of remembrance or to rest



Sunday 5 June 2022



11:00 Ceremony at the Pegasus Memorial

13:00 Lunch at Lion-sur-Mer

15:15 Visit of the Juno Beach Center at Courseulles-sur-Mer

17:30 Service at the Bayeux Cathedral



Monday 6 June 2022



09:45 Ceremony at the Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer

11:00 Ceremony at the Ranville CWGC for the Paras/ 11:30 Royal British Legion service at Bayeux CWGC

13:30 Lunch at Lion-sur-Mer

16:30 D-Day Commemoration Committee Official Ceremony at Bernières-sur-Mer

18:00 Ceremony at Lion-sur-Mer/ 18:00 Unofficial Ceremony at the Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer



Tuesday 7 June 2022



10:00 Service at Grangues for the gliders’ casualties

12:30 Lunch Rue de Saint-Aubin at Colleville-Montgomery with the Mayor

15:30 Visit to Collège Saint-Louis in Cabourg: meeting the pupils



Wednesday 8 June 2022



11:00 Short ceremony at Bill Millin’s statue at Colleville-Montgomery with the Mayor

and the pupils of Cabourg

12:00 Cocktail reception under the Marquee

13:15 Departure to go to Ouistreham for the ferry crossing to Portsmouth at 14:30