On Thursday 5th December 2019 I had the utmost pleasure and honour to have been invited, along with my wife Anne, to the Annual Taxi Charity for Military Veterans Christmas Lunch held in the Executive Suite at Millwall Football Club, London.
A truly wonderful day spent in the best of company. So good to catch up with familiar faces, friends and to make new friends too.
So good to see so many Veterans present; all of whom you could clearly see were having such a good time.
HUGE thank you and congratulations to all at the Taxi Charity (Dick Goodwin, Susie Goodwin, Ian Parsons and all) for organising such a wonderful event.
Wonderful too that Lieutenant Colonel Rob Arts of the Dutch Army (currently stationed at the Dutch Embassy) was present and also officially presented Veteran Tom Schaffer with the 'Thank You Liberators' Medal on Behalf of the Embassy.
Having the opportunity to set up and take portraits of Veterans too was such a fantastic opportunity; again, thank you to Dick Goodwin for suggesting and sorting this out.
Here's a Behind the Scenes video from when I was photographing the Legend that is Harry Bailey (thanks to my friend Jon Cox for the footage)
Here too are some of the portraits taken on the day with more to follow...
WW2 Veteran Harry Bailey of the R.A.S.C. (Royal Army Service Corps)
WW2 Veteran Marie Scott who was a WREN (Women's Royal Naval Service) when at just 17 years of age and stationed at Fort Southwick, Portsmouth worked on a switchboard at the Communications Headquarters and was involved in listening to and collating messages for Operation Overlord (D-Day) during the Second World War. Marie would then pass messages from the continent to the leaders of Operation Overlord, General Eisenhower and Field Marshall Montgomery.
WW2 Veteran Connie Bateman who was a WREN (Women's Royal Naval Service) during World War 2. Made me laugh as when I was introduced to Connie by my friend Ben Mayne she took my hand as I walked with her to where I was set up to take the portraits..."I don't need help walking, I just wanted to hold your hand"
WW2 Veteran Danny McCrudden who served in the Royal Navy
Mildred Schutz who was a member of S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) during World War 2. Also known as Churchill's Secret Army, S.O.E. worked behind enemy lines 'blending in' with the locals and were involved in all manner of activities such as Sabotage, Espionage and Reconnaissance. Incredibly dangerous work that for many when / if captured faced certain death. Yesterday was also Mildred's 95 Birthday which means that when she was in S.O.E. she would have been in her teens. Incredible doesn't come close.
I find myself saying thank you so much these days because of the incredible support I, and the project receive but I just don't know what else to say, so ... thank you :)