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Thousands cheer British veterans in the Netherlands

On 5 May 2024, 13 British veterans and one Canadian veteran led the Liberation Day Parade through Wageningen, applauded by thousands who lined the route.

The British veterans had travelled to the Netherlands with the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, which has been making the annual trip for Dutch Liberation since 2012. They were joined by a Canadian veteran for the weekend in Wageningen, the Dutch city of liberation.

In the Netherlands, 4 May is the national day of remembrance. British Market Garden veteran, Geoff Roberts, had the honour of lighting the flame of liberation with Canadian veteran, George Brewster, at midnight in the Wageningen town square, watched by millions on Dutch TV.

Veterans George Brewster and Geoff Roberts light the Liberation Flame

The following day, thousands of people arrived in Wageningen to watch the annual Liberation Day Parade, which was led by three golf carts and two London cabs carrying the Taxi Charity veterans.

The veterans were showered with flowers, gifts and a thunderous round of applause during the 5km route; and it was heartening to see the tears shared by the veterans and the families of those they had liberated 79 years before.

During lunch on 4 May, Hans Kranenburg, President of the Police Sport Association, who addressed the veterans, said: "We are extremely honoured and privileged with your presence. Without your sacrifices, and those of the many soldiers and freedom fighters, we would not have been able to stand here to speak freely and to walk in freedom. Words cannot express what you have done for us. We will never fully understand the depth of your scars. Your dedication and commitment to liberate our country will always be in our hearts and minds. We owe you so much.”

Taxi Charity advisor, Frans Ammerlaan MBE, from the Market Garden Foundation, said: “We look forward to welcoming British veterans to the Netherlands each year and it is always such a pleasure to host these brave men and women.”

Dick Goodwin, honorary secretary of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said: “The party of veterans had such a wonderful time thanks to the carers, volunteers, London cab drivers and our old and new Dutch friends. The reception the veterans receive everywhere we go is overwhelming. Even on the ferry home, the other passengers formed a guard of honour and applauded as the veterans headed to the lifts to disembark.”


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