London Taxi Drivers Take Veterans To The Netherlands

On 14 September, four London cab drivers who volunteer for the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans travelled to the Netherlands for the annual Operation Market Garden Commemorations.

Every year the anniversary of Operation Market Garden, which took place between the 17 and 27 September 1944, is commemorated with a series of events in the Arnhem area. The Taxi Charity took veterans Don Turrell, Mervyn Kersh, Les Hammond, Tom Schaffer and John Pinkerton to the Netherlands for a long weekend to remember those who didn’t return.

On Friday 15 September cab drivers Dean Euesden, Colin Mills, Paul Cook and Peter Carey took a group of  veterans to a memorial service in the Bear Pit located near the John Frost Bridge in Arnhem. On Saturday they attended a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to the Netherlands Joanna Roper CMG at the Hartenstein Museum, attended Ginkel Heath to watch the spectacle of hundreds of  paratroopers dropping on to the landing zone that was used in 1944 and visited a very realistic re-enactment of a field hospital.

On Sunday 17 September, the group attended the memorial service at the Arnhem Oosterbeek cemetery, more commonly known as the Airborne Cemetery, where those killed in the Battle of Arnhem are buried. At this moving service local school children place a flower on each headstone and then after the service queued to shake hands with the veterans and thank them for their freedom. The trip was rounded off with a meal on Sunday night in the Schoonoord restaurant which during the Battle of Arnhem was equipped as an emergency field hospital by the 1st Airborne division.

Dean Euesden, London cab driver and volunteer for the Taxi Charity said, “We had an excellent weekend in the Netherlands. The hospitality we received was top class, the weather was amazing, the events were very moving and the warmth our veterans receive is just unbelievable. There were many highlights over the weekend but I think seeing Tom and John’s faces when they were asked if they wanted to fly over Ginkel Heath in a Dakota and seeing the children who had just laid flowers in the cemetery flock to thank the veterans for their freedom are memories I’ll never forget. I’m very lucky to be part of this charity and meet such a wide range of amazing people.”

Frans Ammerlaan, Taxi Charity Ambassador and Treasurer of the Market Garden Foundation said, “For many years the Market Garden Foundation has been organising the Dutch side of Taxi Charity trips to the Netherlands and a warm bond of friendship has been built with locals, host families and authorities. The veterans are always shown enormous love by the Dutch people who also now understand and greatly appreciate the role the cab drivers play in bringing the veterans over.”

To find out more about the support the Taxi Charity offers to veterans or to donate  visit

About Operation Market garden

Operation Market Garden was an allied  military operation during WWII fought in the German-occupied Netherlands from 17 to 27 September 1944. The operation succeeded in capturing the Dutch cities of Eindhoven and Nijmegen  along with many towns, and a few V-2 rocket launching sites but  failed in its most important objective: securing the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem.

 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.