The Spirit of Normandy Trust is a registered charity (1038121)
dedicated to perpetuate the memory of those who fought
to preserve freedom in 1944.
We have recently been sent a lovely newsletter from John Howards daughter which we thought you might like to read, you can download it here.
We have a list of what is happening at Pegasus Bridge this year on the 5th and 6th June which you can see here.
72nd Anniversary of the Normandy Landings
Full a full list of everything happening in Normandy this year please download the brochure here
The 20th Anniversary of the unveiling
of the Monty Statue
The Unveiling of the statue of General Montgomery took place at a grand ceremony in Coleville-Montgomery on 6th June 1996. The guest of honour was HRH Prince Michael of Kent, and many other VIP guests included Normandy veterans, friends family and supporters. The statue was a gift to the town from the Normandy Veterans Association.
This photo taken on that day shows Roly Jefferson BEM, (NVA National Standard Bearer) and Dick Coyne the Parade Marshal, sadly both no longer with us.
Since that time a service has been held annually in the town on 5th June. Please note this year the SE Veterans Alliance have been permitted to hold a service, but it will be on 4th June (everyone to be seated by 10.30am). However, the Mayor has agreed that the Spirit of Normandy Trust can hold a small ceremony at the Monty Statue on 5th June at 3.30pm, this precedes a pipe band parade at the Bill Milllin statue at 4pm.
We are delighted that the pipe band has agreed to attend and play at the SONT ceremony and then march to the square for the parade, which will be followed by a vin d'honneur.
Bill Millin Statue
All standards are welcome at the ceremony on the 5th June and veterans or veterans groups are welcome to lay wreaths.
All are welcome.
New Chairman for SONT
Richard Palusinski has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust.
Richard has been a Trustee for two years and was formerly Secretary of the Wiltshire Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association.
Richard said "This is a great honour and responsibility and I will do all in my power to ensure that the veterans and all that they achieved through the Normandy Campaign are kept at the forefront of our work".
Diana Wilson retired as Chairman after five years in the post and will continue to serve the Trust as a Trustee.
Diana has been very hard working as Chairman and deserves the thanks of the Trust for her loyal service as Chairman.
With the disbanding of the Normandy Veterans Association the Spirit of Normandy Trust will adopt certain responsibilities that were formerly in the control of the Association.
These will include:
The maintenance of the new Normandy Campaign Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.
The ongoing maintenance of the Montgomery Statue at Colleville-Montgomery in Normandy.
The administration of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey; the field is to
be renamed “The Spirit of Normandy”.
These commitments will be in addition to the Trust’s continuing remits:
Welfare & Education:-
Welfare for remaining veterans and their dependants, in liaison with SSAFA.
Education for children, and appreciation of the general public, in the events leading up to the Normandy Landings and the historical significance of WW2.
The Trust will continue to encourage schools and education authorities to promote the annual essay competition, organised in association with the Young Historian Project.
The Spirit of Normandy Trust was founded in 1994 by the late General Peter Martin CBE (former President of the NVA) to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Normandy
Over the past few months the Trust has received generous donations from many sources. These include one from the London Taxi Benevolent Association and the largest donation ever received from a single group was given by the Surrey Normandy Veterans.
The Trustees wish to express their grateful thanks for this continuing generosity which helps to ensure that, amongst other ongoing responsibilities, the 2 main remits of the Trust, Welfare and Education, can continue for the foreseeable future.
More recently Ian & Mary Stewart (SONT Vice-chairman & Hon secretary) were invited by the Southend Veterans, as guests of honour, to a most impressive Gala dinner and dance. All who were present thoroughly enjoyed the "Glenn Miller " style big band which included 2 talented vocalists. The colours were marched in with a piper. The food was excellent and many of the lady guests and organisers were presented with magnificent bouquets. The highlight of the evening for the Trust was the presentation of a cheque for the most generous amount of £2000; funds that were raised by the veterans and their loyal supporters - again a huge thank you to all concerned.
Don Sheppard Leg. d'hon (Chairman Southend Veterans) presenting the "presentation" cheque to Ian Stewart CM