WE’LL MEET AGAIN – NORMANDY VETERANS’ REUNION 2017
Following our previous Autumn get-togethers, there is just one week to go until this years Reunion for Normandy Veterans. This year we planned the event in Portsmouth
to be held over the weekend Friday 29th September through to Sunday 1st October.
Accommodation: 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. The cut off date to book was the 31st August 2017.
Invoices: All invoices have now been sent- if you haven’t received it please look in your Spam Box, and if it isn’t there then let Mark know (firstname.lastname@example.org) Please note that if payment is not received by the end of August then 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 (email@example.com).
Saturday Day Reunion Events: Transport will start departing to the 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 1200 – 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. There will be a display from a Spitfire and Hurricane which will be taking place over the sea around 12 noon with the Red Devils Parachute Team dropping in as well.
At 1515- There will be a parade of standards and the 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 place of the light buffet from Friday).
1800- Transport back to the hotels will commence.
Sunday: 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 then please don’t hesitate to ask.
2016 Reunion details below….
Reunion of the Knights!
October 18th 2016 saw a reunion event hosted by the Spirit of Normandy Trust at North Weald Airfield in Essex. The airfield played a key role in World War 2 as a fighter base to protect London, flying Hurricanes and Bristol Blenheim night fighters and, later, flying Spitfires. Pilots flying from North Weald saw action over Dunkirk and in the Battle of Britain. It was therefore an appropriate place for a gathering of veterans of the Normandy campaign and almost 50 veterans attended the day, accompanied by family and friends.
In his welcoming speech Richard Palusinski, the Chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust, quoted the words of Madame Lebrat, the French Consul for the South West of England, speaking of the holders of the Legion d’Honneur as the Knights of our age.
The Trust’s new Patron, General the Lord Dannatt, spoke of his pleasure at being asked to become Patron of the Trust and of the historic events of 1944 on the beaches and in the fields and streets of Normandy.
The event continued with a parade of Standards and a memorial service led by Rev Mandy Reynolds.
The opportunity was taken to present prizes for the Young Historians’ competition. Isabella Prince received her prize for her excellent piece of work on the Bawdsey Manor Radar Site. Her school, Framlington College, also received a trophy and cheque.
After the formalities the veterans enjoyed a picnic lunch and entertainment provided by Diana Moore, singing some of the old favourite songs of the war years. Lodge’s Coaches provided transport in vintage coaches to a museum on the site and the assembled crowd watched a stunning air display by a Spitfire. There were also displays of military and civilian vehicles and of uniforms and equipment from the war period.
Here is a link to some photos taken by Peter Lloyd. Thank you for sharing Peter.
These photos were taken by RDA Photography who kindly shared their photos.