The Spirit of Normandy
The Spirit of Normandy Trust is a registered charity (1038121)
dedicated to
perpetuate the memory of those who fought
to preserve freedom in 1944.
YHA 2016
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Should you be going to Normandy this is a really educational and useful APP.

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Contact details at the end of the message for any queries.

With just over a month before the reunion I thought it was a good point to give you an update as to what we have in store:

We will be staying at 3 Hotels across Portsmouth, The Royal Maritime, and Travelodge Portsmouth and Hilsea - where groups have travelled together they will be accommodated in the same hotel.

We have a few rooms remaining but the cut off date will be the 31st August to book through SONT.

All invoices have now been sent - if you haven't received it please look in your Spam Box, and if it isn't there let me know and i will resend it.  **Please Note** That if payment is not received by the end of August - we cannot guarantee that the Accommodation will still be available.

Event Tickets

These will be sent out at the start of September - you will need your ticket to get into the Friday Dinner and the Saturday VIP Area and Buffet Dinner - so please don't lose them

Friday Evening

Originally the Dinner was to be held on the Saturday Evening, however due to the phenomenal response we have had, we have had to change this to the Friday Evening - this is so everyone that has asked to attend can come.

The venue will be the Royal Maritime Club and the event starts at 1900 - Sit Down at 1930

We will have the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth attending - and have a few little surprises on the night.

Can I please have any dietary requirements no later than the 14th September please.

Saturday Reunion Day Events

Transport will start departing to reunion venue at 0900

The daytime events will start on Castle Field (Southsea Seafront) at 10am - with various groups and the lovely Fiona Harrison (Of Arromanches Fame) performing on the stage.  We have a display of WW2 Vehicles, and equipment as well as local children's cadet bands.  Those that travel to Normandy each year will have representatives from Brittany Ferries, Arena Travel and the SONT on hand to give advice.

At 12:00 - There will be a light lunch / afternoon tea available in Southsea Castle (Bar available) - This will be a VIP Area purely for Veterans and Friends and Family plus a few invited guests.

We are looking a few friends dropping in - but we will confirm that closer to the date. Display from a Spitfire and Hurricane will also be taking place over the sea at 12 noon on the Saturday.

At 1515 - There will be a parade of standards and Veterans from the castle to the Stage Area where the Lord Mayor will take the salute and the Chairman will address the audience.

at 1700 - There will be a hot fork buffet (In please of the light buffet from Friday)

Transport back to the hotels will commence at 1800

Sunday Remembrance Commemoration

The remembrance commemoration will take place on Sunday 1st October at the Naval Memorial on Southsea Seafront - starting at 1030.

Veterans are more than welcome to lay wreaths - the service will be led by Mandy Reynolds the NVA Padre

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Appeal for missing medals

A 95-year-old blind war veteran has issued a tearful appeal for the return of his war medals.

They went missing on the way home from a visit to Normandy to commemorate the anniversary of when he landed in Normandy on D-Day, in June 1944.

Full report:

2017 Normandy Report

Click here to read

June 6th: NVA at the NMA

On the 6th June the NVA attended a memorial service at NMA Alrewas for the 73rd anniversary of D-Day. During the service Robert Mille, Consul Honoraire de France symbolically presented the Legion d'Honneur medal to 17 veterans. Photos courtesy of Peter Lloyd.

Colleville Montgomery Service 2017

The below photos were taken on Sword beach after the service at Coleville Montgomery on the 5th June. There was a very special flag in the photos sourced at an auction and was the first flag to be raised on Sword Beach.

The oldest Normandy Veteran?

The family of Clifford Charles Baker  Leg.d'hon, who will be 104 in October has contacted the SONT to ask if we know if he is the oldest UK surviving veteran of the Normandy Campaign

Mr Baker now lives in a nursing home in Port Talbot. We think he probably is, but if anyone is aware of an older Normandy veteran please let us know.

Southend District Normandy Veterans

This still thriving group of veterans and supporters headed by Don Sheppard Leg d’hon., former National NVA Vice Chairman.  recently held a collection a the Eastgate shopping centre Basildon. This was generously sponsored by Eastgate and Toomey Motors. As a result they kindly donated £500 to the Spirit of Normandy Trust.

The group is now looking forward to their trip to the National Memorial Arboretum to take part in the service on 6th June in the vicinity of the Normandy Veterans Memorial. The service is being organised and funded due to the hard work and fundraising for the event by Peter Lloyd of the Normandy Veterans Alliance.


Bristol Normandy Veterans Pilgrimage to Normandy
with Arena Travel

Ken Turner  the Chairman and Social secretary contacted the SONT to say that they had a very well organised trip, that the coach was exceptionally comfortable and they all marvelled at the skill of the driver manoeuvring the giant 6 wheeler in and out of the tiny Normandy Villages.

Many of the veterans had special places that they wished to revisit and he made special thanks to their guide Major Bob Darby, who with his intimate knowledge of the battlefields and a flexible approach, managed to fulfil all the requests

New friends were made on the pilgrimage, especially Dr. Jonathan Leach who took great care of a couple of the 'lads' who developed medical problems along the way.

He added that here was a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie throughout and they hope they will all be able to meet again next year.

More pictures on - Facebook 'Bristol Normandy Veterans'

12th November 2017

The Spirit of Normandy Trust will be represented by a contingent of Normandy Veterans and their carers at the 2017 Cenotaph Parade. We are delighted that W/O
Baz Firth MBE, has again agreed to act as Parade Marshall and to ensure the well being of those attending. Last year it was unanimously agreed that he and his team did a splendid job, also that their care and dedication was "above & beyond" all expectations.

The application for numbers attending has already been sent to the Royal British Legion and at present there is a place remaining for a veteran plus a carer. The majority of veterans are advised to bring a wheelchair or perhaps a folding chair, even if it is only to use for the wait before mustering for the parade. A member of the team will be there to look after personal belongings.

All names and details are required to be submitted by the 1st July

The Trustees are proud that there are Normandy veterans who are still keen and feel able to volunteer to attend the parade. However, it is appreciated that November is 6 months away, and it would be quite understandable if anyone had to drop out nearer the time. If you (or a veteran close to you) wish to be included, please contact the Trust as soon as possible:-

 Phone 01428 605672    or

- - -

75th Anniversary Memorial

June 2019 will mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and of the start of the Normandy Campaign. The British Government has appointed The Normandy Memorial Trust to commission the design and building of the British Normandy Memorial to be inaugurated on 6th June 2019.  The project is being funded by the Government with money from fines imposed on banks in the so-called LIBOR affair. It will record the names of all of the British servicemen and women and those from the civilian services who lost their lives in the Normandy Campaign. If you would like more information please see The Normandy Memorial Trust’s website here.

 The Normandy Memorial Trust’s first newsletter can be viewed on that website, or copies of the newsletter can be requested by post (particularly intended for veterans) by writing to Normandy Memorial Trust, c/o  16 Collingbourne Road, London, W12 0JQ. The Normandy Memorial Trust is especially interested to gather views on the Memorial, from veterans of the Normandy Campaign and others who have may have a personal interest

Please note this is not a Spirit of Normandy Trust Project and information is only available from the address or website above.

Brighton Marathon

On the 9th April our Trustee, Flaminia Martin, undertook the Brighton Marathon in 21 degree heat raising funds for the trust. Flaminia had been training for 16 weeks ahead of the day and completed the 26.2 miles in a gruelling 4hours 45 minutes and 12 seconds. To date Flaminia had raised £953.75 (incl. gift aid). Thank you so much to all the kind people who sponsored her to complete the challenge.

Brighton Marathon

Recently in Coleville- Montgomery, Normandy, a further cleaning and waxing of the Monty statue was completed at the request and expense of the Spirit of Normandy Trust. A pledge given to the members of Normandy Veterans Association when it closed in 2014. We are delighted with the quality of the restoration. undertaken by Matthew Beesley of Gem Conservation Ltd who was first commissioned to restore the statue in time for the 70th anniversary. This will be a long term commitment for the Trust to ensure that the statue does not deteriorate over the years.


Normandy Veterans Reunion

We are pleased to announce that following two previous and successful events, we are planning a reunion for Normandy Veterans over the weekend of 29th September to the 1st of October. Working closely with Return to Normandy, we expect to commence the weekend with a reception and light buffest on the Friday evening, a reunion event on the Saturday during the day, followed by a dinner in the evening. The weekend will draw to a close with a Commemorative Service on the Sunday morning. More details soon, but if you are interested in coming along to part or all of the weekend, please get in touch.

RBL Bayeux Services - 6th June 2017
The Bayeux Services are on the 6th June all organised by the RBL Bayeux.
10am at the Cathedral
12 Noon at the Cemetery

5th June
The Spirit of Normandy Trust is planning a low key commemorative service at the statue of Montgomery for those who cannot get to the service on the previous day. Richard Palusinski (Chairman of The Spirit of Normandy Trust) will lead the service at 10:30am.

Services at Colleville Montgomery 2017- 4th June

The Mayor of Colleville Montgomery has asked that the commemorative service at the statue of Montgomery should be held on 4th June again this year.  This is because it is a Sunday and the Mayor feels that more local residents will be able to attend as it is not a working day.  He is really trying to get as many children there as possible so that the younger generation might better understand the source of their freedom. 
Colleville Montgomery Service 2017

The South Eastern Normandy Veterans are organising a service in front of the statue of Montgomery at Colleville. Montgomery commences at 11:00. Please see this letter giving details and requesting information from those planning to attend.

Folkestone Area Normandy Veterans attended a Lunch at the Portofino Restaurant, Folkestone on 23/1/2016, where they were presented with The Legion d'Honneur


Photo L to R   
Standing:- Veteran Stuart King, Sgt Harold Moore [97], Folkestone Town Mayor Cl lr Martin Salmon, Veteran Wg Cdr John Long [96] RAF
& Chef Paula Wire.

Seated:- Veteran Stan Hodge MM [91] Veteran John Green, Veteran Ivan Jennings RN.

The Normandy Veterans Alliance Midlands are hosting the annual service and parade on the 6th June 2017 for anyone not going to Normandy this year. For logistic reasons please let Peter Lloyd know names, numbers, and contact details.  After the service they will be going to the Aldergate Club 7, Aldergate, TAMWORTH, B79 7DL for buffet refreshments. Please use the link below to view onsite details, and please forward onto interested colleagues.

January newsletter

Please find our January newsletter here

Captain Robert Fieffé– 1928 – 2017

On 10th January 2017 the funeral took place, in Cheux, France, of Robert Fieffé a well known figure at Aldershot Airborne Forces Day.  Robert used to annually bring his group of ex Para’s to the UK and many will have personally known him and have fond memories.

The Aldershot branch of the PRA first met Robert, when one year on a visit to France they found their hotel double booked. Robert immediately organised all the villagers of Cheux who welcomed many as guests into their homes.

He was too young to join the Forces during the war, but took an active part in helping the French Resistance by delivering messages on his bicycle

Robert was instrumental as a leading figure in restoring Pegasus Bridge and the new Museum.  He was well known and respected throughout Normandy and will be greatly missed.

Robert Fieffe

Merry Christmas

Please find our 2016 christmas card here

  The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

The Trust pays for a plot at this ceremony every year and the Trust is represented by a Trustee and if at all possible accompanied by a Veteran of the Campaign. This year Ian Stewart, Vice-Chairman of the Trust was present with Veteran Don Sheppard from the Southend Normandy Veterans Branch. A cold day for the event but a dry one and we were all grateful for that at least.






 Taxi Charity trip to Normandy 4th-8th June 2017 (shared from

In June 2017, The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled will be taking 150 World War Two veterans in 90 London Taxis on a five day visit to Normandy.

The charity is inviting Associations and Charities, who may have World War Two veterans in their ranks to register their details with us if they would like to be considered for a place on the trip. A full but gentle itinerary has been planned to take into account the age of the veterans accompanying us. Carers are permitted to accompany veterans but it is hoped we can keep carers to a minimum to allow us to take as many veterans as possible. All travel is in a London licensed taxi and where possible, veterans are picked up from their homes in London and the South East. Veterans unable to be picked up at home may join the trip at the Union Jack Club or at Portsmouth Harbour.

The trip is free for veterans and their carers. For more information and / or to register an interest please contact Dick Goodwin on 01920 464748 or e-mail

Charity Reg. No. 264678

Follow this link to a flyer.


  The Cenotaph Parade 2016

The Spirit of Normandy Trust was proud and delighted that six Normandy Veterans, carers and supporters joined the Trust’s contingent at the 2016 Cenotaph parade on the 13th November. They were under the watchful eye of WO Baz Firth MBE, who acted as Platoon Commander, whose care and attention to detail was second to none and to whom we are extremely grateful. The veterans travelled from as far away as Cheshire and Wiltshire to attend and regrettably, at the last minute, two veterans were unable to join the group because of ill health. The event proved a “mammoth” effort for the veterans now all well into their 90’s. Everyone was required to be at Horseguards by 9am but did not “fall in” for the parade until around 11:30am and then proudly undertook the mile long march. A few were pushed in wheelchairs but two of the veterans marched the whole route unaided. It is regrettable that so many of the contingents that include WW2 veterans are so far back in the parade especially as it should be appreciated that there won’t be many years when they will be able to attend this very special parade. Thank you again Baz, also not forgetting his wife and son, the veterans, their carers and the others who were such a great support on the day.

Baz Cenotaph


This is a Veteran who travelled down from Cheshire and was accompanied by his grandson who flew over from the US to join him at the parade.

Legacy Tour to Normandy

The Legacy Tour was organised by Mark Waring , Alan Ridley and the team of Return to Normandy 2016 , they raised the funds to take youngsters aged  10+ accompanied by a parent or grandparent , with 4 Normandy veterans and their carers, on  a "whirlwind" trip to Normandy from 22 - 25th October.  The group stayed in Arromanches and were delighted and appreciative to have the complimentary services of a well renowned guide Stuart Robertson.

Two of the pupils present had won free places in a competition. The veterans'  travel and accommodation was fully sponsored and the other participants received extremely generous rates subsidised by RTN2016.  The places visited, amongst  museums and other "quick stops", were the British beaches, the American sector, Juno beach and Ranville Cemetery.

Mary & Ian Stewart, (Hon:secretary and Vice Chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust) met up with the group at several locations,  to join their younger Grandson, who was accompanied by his Mum.  They realised that being the youngest present it was a lot of detailed information for him to "take on board" . However, he like the others, all had a great rapport , especially the veterans , who were fully aware that this incredible opportunity and experience was something they will never forget,  and will hopefully pass on to their children and grandchildren.

RTN2016 are to be congratulated on the concept of the project and their  dedicated organisation. An enormous contribution to educating this, and the next generation. The veterans are "Living History" , whose company and experiences we are privileged to share.

Return To Normandy's next event is a Christmas lunch to be held on 4th December in Portsmouth for Normandy veterans, families and supporters, for more information contact:

Plans are already in place to take the veterans to Normandy in June and for further "Legacy Tours" in August and October 2017

Normandy 2016
72nd Anniversary of the Normandy Landings
An important commemoration

June this year, as in so many previous years, saw a large number of Normandy veterans travelling to France to take part in a wide range of commemorative events. There were numerous events across Normandy over the first week or so of June. The events captured in this newsletter are just a flavor of some of those that were held. 72 years on from the operation that freed France, and ultimately Europe, from a sinister and oppressive regime, the events were as emotional and meaningful as always.

Saturday 4th June

Some of the major events started with the ceremony in front of the statue of Field Marshal Montgomery at Colleville Montgomery, which sits at Sword Beach.

The French Military Academy of Lorient decided this year to hold a ceremony at Colleville Montgomery on the morning of 5th June, which meant that the main commemorative event had to be moved to the 4th June. It was very well attended and was a very special event as it was the 20th anniversary of the unveiling of Montgomery’s statue. The Honourable Henry Montgomery, grandson of Field Marshal Montgomery was present at the service and spoke
of the pride that his Grandfather would have had at the way the veterans continued to return to Normandy to remember the campaign and their comrades.

Veteran Fred Harris with the Hon Henry Montgomery

The Service at Colleville Montgomery was led by Rev Mandy Reynolds. The Dutch Band of Liberation provided the music and led veterans for a march past as they went to the sea front for a vin d’honneur, the salute being taken by the Mayor of Colleville Montgomery.

Saturday 5th June
A further, more informal, Service was held at the statue of Montgomery on 5th June for those who were unable to change travel arrangements to attend the service on 4th June.
The Mayor of Colleville Montgomery spoke at the Service and the event was led by Richard Palusinski, Chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust.

Richard Palusinski leads the Service at Colleville Montgomery

A number of other commemorative events were held at locations including Pegasus Bridge, Rots and the Jerusalem Cemetery in Chouain, all of which were attended by Trustees from the Spirit of Normandy Trust.

Rev Mandy Reynolds leads the Service at Arromanches

A large number of organisations worked together to make the events this year a great success. These included the Royal British Legion, Return to Normandy, Project 71, D Day revisited, the D Day academy, The Mairies of Colleville Montgomery and Arromanches and many others. A huge vote of thanks must go to them all.

Sunday 6th June

As in past years, the main commemorative events were held in the Cathedral and Military Cemetery at Bayeux. Both Services were very well attended.

The day started with a 10.00 a.m. Service in Notre Dame Cathedral in Bayeux. Seats towards the front of the nave were reserved for veterans. The Service commenced with marching in the Standards. The Dutch Band of Liberation again provided the music.

Following the Cathedral Service, veterans, families and friends gathered at the British Military Cemetery for a commemorative service at midday.

The Service was very well attended and was a poignant and moving ceremony.

During this Service at Bayeux Cemetery the Exhortation was given by Hector Duff L d’Hon and the veterans’ prayer was read by Fred Harris L d’Hon, both veterans of the Normandy Landings

Hector Duff gives the Exhortation

Later that day veterans again gathered at Arromanches for a parade and Service on the sea front by the D Day Museum. Chairs were provided and a heavy sea mist cleared in time for the start of the commemorative Service. Umbrellas were provided for veterans to help keep the sun off them. Rev Mandy Reynolds led the Service and the Mayor, M Patrick Jardin, and his deputy, M Adrian Cox, spoke warmly of the bravery and fortitude of the young men who landed on the beaches of France so many years ago.

Meanwhile back in the UK

On D Day, 6th June, a Service was held at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas. On a gloriously sunny day veterans, friends and families joined together for a memorial ceremony. Approximately 150 people attended and the Service was led by Rev Dr David Bennett, Chaplain for the Federation of Birmingham Ex-Service Associations and Normandy Service Veteran Association.

Project 71

Our friends at Project 71 took a small team of volunteers and 3 Normandy veterans with the intention of planting a poppy/cross on every unknown grave in every CWGC cemetery in Normandy. They planted over 900 crosses in 15 Cemeteries and will be returning in July to finish the job by placing a further 300 crosses in three more cemeteries on the east of the Orne.

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