On 2 September veteran Ben Mead who served with REME in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan will be marching 40km carrying 15kg to raise funds for the Taxi Charity.
On Saturday 2 September Ben Mead, from Eastbourne, will join thousands of others to participate in the 40km Wandeltocht route around Oosterbeek near Arnhem. Many of the walkers will complete only a section of the full course but Ben will be marching the full route while carrying a pack weighing 15kg to replicate the packs that the allied troops including his grandfather, would have carried in 1944.
Veteran Ben Mead who has previously been part of the Taxi Charity on trips to Normandy will be joining them on their trip to the Netherlands at the beginning of September. The trip for Wandeltocht, (also known as the Airborne March), is the annual Dutch commemorative event in remembrance of the Battle of Arnhem which took place in September 1944. For the last 75 years, the Taxi Charity has been supporting veterans and Ben is one of a new generation who will benefit from the support and friendship the charity offers to veterans from all conflicts.
Veteran Ben Mead said. “Over the years I have been lucky enough to go away on some wonderful trips with the Taxi Charity and have met some amazing people especially WWII Veterans. Impressed by what the charity does, I have decided to support them and take part in the Airborne March on the 2 September. The walk will take place in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands where in September 1944, The British 1st Airborne Division saw heavy fighting during Operation Market Garden. One of these brave soldiers who fought was my grandfather and it will be an honour to retrace his footsteps. I’m hoping to raise over £500 for the Taxi Charity before I leave the UK on the 30 August and would really appreciate your support.”
London Cab Driver and Chairman of the Taxi Charity Brian Heffernan said, “The pandemic and the cost of living crisis has really hit us hard and it is concerning that in our 75th anniversary year we are worried about our financial situation. To hear that Ben is wanting to help is wonderful and I hope everyone gets behind him and donates to ensure our work can continue.”
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.