Wave 105 presenter Simon Clarke will be joining a group of D Day Veterans from across the south as they return to Normandy for the commemorations this June.
The idea for the trip arose at last year’s D Day anniversary when Normandy Veterans Charlie Newman (Royal Navy) Colin Holder (RAF) and Harry Marrington (Royal Navy) were denied the request to take a brief detour to visit a cemetery where many of their comrades are buried.
Portsmouth author, Lorie Coffey, was also on the coach trip and made a promise she would bring them back this year and take them to the places they wanted to visit. Word soon spread and other veterans expressed an interest so the plans for the trip grew.
On Thursday morning at 08.15 hours, the group of eight veterans with their own cars, drivers and carers sailing from Portsmouth to join in the 71st anniversary commemorations of the Normandy landings. The trip has been funded by donations and months of fundraising, including cake sales and craft fairs to tandem skydives.
Commenting on the trip, Simon Clarke says: “When you consider what these guys did for us 71 years ago, being able to drive them around is a real honour and the very least we could do.”
A grand total of £20,000 has been raised to pay for the two chateaus which have been hired to accommodate the eight veterans and their carers on the five day trip.
Unfortunately, due to ill health neither Charlie, Harry or Colin are able to attend but other passengers on the trip include Robert Gale, DSM., who was chosen to lay the wreath at the cenotaph alongside The Prime Minister during the VE Day Service.