Thursday, 13 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Thursday, 13 June 2024

Veterans gather at Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar

RECENTLY, the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans escorted a group of veterans to the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

Among the group of veterans who attended the event at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar were thirteen who had served in WWII – and one was to have the surprise of her life.

Just before 11am Colin Mills the Chairman of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans welcomed the veterans to the Hangar and thanked the team at Biggin Hill for inviting the charity to their hangar which houses thirteen Spitfires. Then to the amazement of 99-year-old veteran Dorothea Barron, who trained troops on the use of semaphore ahead of D-Day, she was told that charity Ambassador Johnny Gallagher was going to make her dream come true.

Veterans gather at Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar

Dorothea will celebrate her 100 birthday later this year and Johnny had asked what she might like as a present for this milestone. Without hesitation, Dorothea had told him that she would love to fly in a Spitfire. Without Dorothea having any idea of the plans, the Spitfire flight had been booked for later that day.

Unfortunately, just like the plans for the Normandy invasion were thwarted by the weather, so too were the plans for Dorothea’s flight. Low cloud, coupled with a strong wind, meant that the plane couldn’t take off, but Dorothea was briefed, got dressed in a flying suit and sat in a Spitfire which taxied along the runway. Just like D-Day would be rescheduled for 6 June, Dorothea’s flight will be rescheduled too.

During the social event, the veterans who had been driven to Biggin Hill by volunteer London cab drivers enjoyed a light lunch and heard poet John Armstrong, who had been commissioned by Taxi Charity Ambassador Johnny Gallagher, read his new poem ‘Spitfire’.

Colin Mills, Chairman of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans said:

“Everyone had a wonderful day. The kind invitation from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar gave thirty veterans who had served in WWII and other conflicts including Korea and Afghanistan, a chance to meet just ahead of the 80th anniversary of D-Day and have a good catch-up. Social and commemoration events are at the heart of everything the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans has done for the last 76 years and as a cabbie who has been volunteering for the charity for five years, I know how much our volunteer drivers really appreciate what an honour it is to spend time with these veterans.”

The Taxi Charity will be taking a group of veterans to Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

To find out more about the support the Taxi Charity offers to veterans or to donate, please visit: www.taxicharity.org.

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