97-Year-Old WWII Veteran Jim Knox attended a Taxi Charity Event and surprised everyone when he decided that instead of supporting the younger veterans, he would compete alongside them
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans organised an afternoon of Go Karting for younger veterans and invited some of the older veterans they support to cheer on the racers. WWII veteran John Knox, 97 from Upminster surprised everyone when instead of sitting on the side lines, he jumped in a Kart and whizzed around the track, setting a record for the oldest person to ever compete on the Go Karting circuit in Barking.
Stuart Lawrence, Manager, Capital Karts, said, “We were delighted to welcome the group of London cabbies and veterans to The Taxi Charity event at Capital Karts on the 6 July. My team thoroughly enjoyed their visit and especially meeting amazing veteran Jim Knox. When I first saw Jim, I thought I’m not sure how long he will last, and boy did I have to eat my words. I have seen guys of 20 and 21 who can’t make it round the circuit in half the time he did. He was amazing and now holds the Capital Karts record for the oldest person to ever drive on our circuit in Barking.”
After a briefing and a 15-minute warm up Jim, the younger veterans and some volunteer cabbies raced against the clock on the longest indoor track in the UK.
Jim Knox, said, “What an experience, I loved every minute of it. At my age you have to give things a go and best of all, my time wasn’t the slowest of the group.”
The event at Capital Karts in Barking was arranged by the Taxi Charity primarily for younger veterans to have an afternoon of friendly competitive fun followed by pizza and soft drinks with volunteer cabbies and WWII veterans.
Terry Ward, London Cabbie and Taxi Charity Committee Member said, “The Taxi Charity is well known for the support we give to older veterans, but it is less well known that we support younger veterans too. We are always looking for opportunities to plan rewarding and fun events that might be of interest to younger veterans, and we thought that Go Karting would be the perfect opportunity for everyone to have some fun. As well as inviting some veterans through associations we have worked with before, we also approached London based Veterans Aid UK, who care for veterans in crisis and the Stoll Foundation who provide supported housing to vulnerable veterans, who arranged for veterans to join us.”
About the Taxi Charity
The Taxi Charity is run by volunteer London black taxi drivers and has been supporting thousands of veterans of all ages since 1948. The charity arranges free trips to the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, for acts of commemoration and days out to museums, concerts, or fundraising events in the UK, to catch up with friends and comrades.
Pandemic restrictions meant events had to be cancelled and the Charity has worked tirelessly to ensure veterans received regular contact by sending out a greeting card each month, gifts to mark the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ day, stockings at Christmas and arranging Guards of Honour at veterans’ funerals. Volunteers have also helped with regular phone calls, food shopping, transport to hospital appointments, and more recently taking veterans for their Coronavirus injections.
The charity was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2021.
To fund and facilitate their work, the charity is reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses, and trusts.