Image credit: Glyn Dewis
The well supported Taxi Charity asked four veterans what Remembrance Sunday meant to them in the lead up to the occasion.
Frank Pendergast of the Parachute Regiment, told the charity: “I think about the friends I lost in WWII throughout the year, but on Remembrance Sunday, I am heartened to know that the whole country is united in remembering those we lost.”
A representative from The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, which was formed in Fulham back in 1948, to work for the benefit, comfort and enjoyment of military veteran’s, then asked: How do you spend the day?
Frank responded by saying: “I am so blessed that The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans arrange for me to be picked up from home and take me in a taxi to London to join fellow veterans at the commemoration services. We all wear our poppies and medals with pride and stand united, remembering those that didn’t make it home.”
And did Frank think younger generations understand what Remembrance Sunday represents?
“During my annual visits with the Taxi Charity to Normandy and Arnhem we are fortunate to meet lots of children and we are always overwhelmed by the love and thanks we receive from them, their parents and grandparents. The children are taught at a very early age about the liberation of their country and we know they will never forget.”
The photographic portraits of the four war heroes are by Glyn Dewis and can be viewed at the 3945 exhibition at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, Oxfordshire until 5 January 2020.
The Taxi Charity arranges many trips every year for veterans from all conflicts. Trips include visits to Holland, Belgium and France, UK day trips to concerts or museums, transport to attend fundraising events, as well as special days out to catch up with friends and comrades.
To fund and facilitate these outings, the charity is wholly reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses and trusts and the amazing group of London licensed taxi drivers who offer their time and vehicles free.
Tom Schaeffer of Parachute Regiment said: “The words of the poem, For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon, remain as perfect today, to remember the comrades we lost, as when they were first published in 1914 and the words like our fallen comrades will never grow old.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
“I am so grateful to the Taxi Charity for the support they give to me and the other veterans who have all become my close friends. I try to give something back by volunteering to do Taxi Charity bucket collections at underground stations throughout London, where the generosity and the kindness shown to me by those going through the stations always amazes me.”
Dickie Forrester of the Royal Rifle Corps said: “Every year it is so important to me that we unite, to make sure that those who didn’t return from WWI and WWII and all subsequent conflicts are not forgotten. I am so thankful that 11th November still holds such significance for many, and that Remembrance Sunday is still observed by people of all ages, to remember and honour those who sacrificed themselves to secure and protect freedom for our generation and for generations to come. I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with my friends at the Cenotaph, proudly wearing my medals and thinking about those who are not lucky enough to be standing there with me.”
Jeff Haward, MM, Middlesex Regiment said: “I fought from Dunkirk in 1940, right through to D Day in 1944 and lost many brothers along the way. Without their sacrifice we would not have the freedom we enjoy today and the 11th hour of the 11th month, will always be the perfect way for the country to come together to remember.”