NORMANDY VETERANS ASSOCIATION
The Normandy Veterans' Association was launched in Britain in April 1981. It was the idea of Arthur Flodman (picture number 1) who had landed in Normandy with the Durham Light Infantry. He lived in the Grimsby area and put a paragraph in the local area newspaper which invited local veterans of the Normandy campaign to attend a meeting. That first meeting attracted twenty nine participants. By 1985 Flodman decided to form a national association. At that time there were thirty five branches in the country. The first national president was Flodman's former commanding officer, General John Mogg. Arthur Flodman died a few weeks later.
The aims of the association are to:
Encourage the 1944 spirit of comradeship irrespective of rank or social position
promote contacts between former comrades via branch meetings, reunions etc.
give practical assistance to members and their dependents who are in need
inform the younger generation of the times and past deeds of their forebears for the benefit of their country.
By the mid 1990's the NVA had over 102 branches, not only in Britain, but in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium and France. Each local branch organises it's own affairs and visits to Normandy. The branches send annual levies, according to the number of members, to the National Council which meets three times a year. The National Council offices are in South Humberside (the area from which Arthur Flodman began the NVA).
" Yanks are back in Saddleworth Association with the Wirral & Chester Branch"
In June 2009 in Ste Mere Eglise France was the first time we meet the Normandy Veterans Wirral & Chester Branch they were on their annual pilgrimage for the 65th anniversary.
In 2010 the veterans made the journey to Saddleworth from the Chester & Wirral areas to march in the parade on the sunday morning and at 3' clock we held a memorial service for some of the veterans at the war memorial in the park in Uppermill to commemorate VJ Day in Europe. The veterans stayed for the remainder of the day which was enjoyed by all.
At christmas 2010 myself & Wendy were invited to the annual Normandy Veterans christmas dinner and after speaking to veterans it become clear that they paid for there own meals so it was decided that Yanks are back in Saddleworth would cover the cost of the 2011 christmas dinner from donations from the 2011 show.
In August 2011 the veterans again made the journey to Saddleworth where a coffee morning was laid on by Betty's Fish & Chip shop in Uppermill and was attended by the Mayor of Oldham councillor Richard & Mrs Knowles, which was then followed by the parade and march past in Uppermill.
Finishing the day off for the veterans was again the memorial service in the park to commemorate VJ Day.
As promised Yanks are back in Saddleworth made its pledge to cover the cost of the Christmas dinner for the veterans and we duly attended myself & Wendy along with John & Shirley from Birch Farm Ice cream Parlour and Pete (aka) Monty & Gillan Brayshaw, and a good day was had by all.
The pledge given was £400 from Yanks are back in Saddleworth and £100 from Birch Farm ice cream Parlour Heywood making a total of £500.
In January 2012 we recivied a thankyou letter from the chairman of the Wirral & Chester Branch Mr Albert Dillow (picture number3) thanking us for our kind donation.
"THE NORMANDY PRAYER"
“Oh Eternal Lord God who has united together all the Veterans of the Normandy Campaign
We beseech you to grant your Blessing and give strength to carry on our work to bring aid and common purpose throughout our Association.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, whose courage never fails. Amen”
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM