THE SPIRIT OF NORMANDY TRUST
The Regiment Support Service is currently assisting The Spirit of Normandy Trust in helping British World War II Veterans attend the 79th anniversary of the D-Day landings in June 2023. This year the trust hopes to take 9 veterans and one war widow, as well as carers and supporting family members over to France to pay tribute and remember comrades who fell during the D-Day landings of 6th June 1944.
Through the production and sale of the Spirit of Normandy lapel badges The Regiment Support Service is able to help pay for the travel, accommodation and care support costs for the 9 veterans who wish to attend the memorial service. We ask UK businesses to help by sponsoring the campaign and in return any business who supports is awarded with a certificate of recognition.
The Spirit of Normandy Trust is a small, all-volunteer run charity, and that relies greatly on the generosity of others to be able to perform this annual pilgrimage for those whose courage and tenacity achieved so much for their country in the pivotal moments of WWII.
The average age of the veterans is now 98, and in their declining years they gain so much for revisiting the site of the landings and battles, sharing their stories and experiences with their comrades, the local population, and the wider world. The tailor-made trip of 5 days in France encompasses ceremonies at the new, stunning British Normandy Memorial at Ver sur Mer, Colville Montgomery, Bayeux Cemetery, Caen and Arromanches. In addition, we join with elements of the British Army for other commemorations as well as meeting local dignitaries and school children, and visiting sites and graves which are pertinent to our individual veterans. Their memories are as vivid today as they were on the day of battle. We provide individual vehicles and drivers for each veteran, their carer and family members, which allows total flexibility.
The significance of D Day and the Battle for Normandy cannot be overstated. The sheer logistical challenge of amassing troops and equipment in readiness for the invasion, keeping it secret during the process, rehearsing beach landings, sowing false stories to distract the enemy from our true intentions and successfully delivering an invasion force to the coast of Normandy in the largest airborne and seaborne operation in history is staggering. The fact that this was fully achieved has been well documented by writers over the years since 6th June 1944.
Ultimately the victory against an evil and oppressive regime was achieved by what is so often referred to in modern times as “boots on the ground”. In the Battle for Normandy 22,442 people under British command alone never returned home. This was the price for freedom and the peace that we have enjoyed in Europe ever since.
When you look at the scale of D Day and the onward fight through Europe it is easy to forget that victory was delivered by ordinary men and women, called upon to undertake an extra-ordinary task, which they carried out with courage and determination.
The Spirit of Normandy Trust strives to ensure that every one of the individuals involved in D Day and the Battle for Normandy and their dependents, receive the support they need in their advancing years and that their service, which had such a significant impact on world history, is never forgotten.