On Sunday 9 July, artist Tim Godden made the 300 mile journey from his home in North Devon to meet 99 year old WWII veteran Bill Gladden in Suffolk.
At the meeting Tim presented Bill with an illustration depicting Bill on D Day and Bill presented Tim with a painting of Tim’s pet cat Percy.
An artist and historian, Tim Godden, is currently working on a personal project to illustrate WWII veterans, with a particular focus on Normandy. He contacted the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans to see if they would be happy to facilitate a meeting with WWII veteran Bill Gladden, not knowing that Bill also had a love of art. Bill was delighted to arrange a meeting with Tim and offered to paint a portrait of his pet cat.
Tim Godden said, “it was an absolute honour to meet Bill Gladden and I would like to thank the Taxi Charity and Bill’s family for facilitating this. I have painted four other veterans and with the support of the Taxi Charity I am hoping to paint and meet more WWII veterans. Bill kindly signed a copy of the illustration and I hope that it will raise some funds for the Taxi Charity.”
Dick Goodwin, Honorary Secretary, Taxi Charity for Military Veterans said, “Knowing of Bill’s lifelong love of painting, we were only too happy to arrange the meeting between him and Tim for the art exchange. As a charity that is wholly reliant on donations, we are very grateful to Tim for his promise to auction a signed copy of his picture of Bill and are looking forward to facilitating other meetings with veterans we support.”
The print of Tim’s illustration, which is signed by the artist and Bill will be auctioned to raise funds for the Taxi Charity.
To find out more about the support the Taxi Charity offers to veterans or to donate visit www.taxicharity.org
To find our more about Tim Godden visit www.timgodden.co.uk
About Bill Gladden
Bill served with the 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment and flew into Normandy on D Day in a glider. He landed in Ranville and took part in the initial contact to start the liberation of France. On the 19th of June, Bill was resting in an orchard when a Panzer tank broke through the lines and fired into the orchard. Bill was hit, seriously injuring his leg. He was first taken to a barn, where his life was saved, and later transferred to the Queen Victoria hospital in East Grinstead, where as the only non RAF patient the skill of the renowned surgeon Archibald McIndoe saved his leg.
About the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans
The Taxi Charity is run by volunteer London black taxi drivers and has been supporting thousands of veterans since 1948. It is the only Forces charity that focuses on providing fun and entertainment and arranges free trips (for veterans from all conflicts) to the Netherlands and France, for acts of commemoration and days out to museums, concerts, or social events across the UK. 2023 is the charity’s 75th anniversary, a remarkable milestone for a small, niche charity peopled by enthusiastic volunteers.
The charity received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021, an award approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the equivalent of the MBE for charities.
To fund and facilitate their work, the charity is reliant on donations, grants and sponsorship and launched a ‘75 for 75’ fundraising campaign to raise £75,000 in its anniversary year.