Veterans meet Forces Sweetheart

PUBLISHED: 16:35 29 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:59 25 August 2010

HUNDREDS of WWII veterans were re-united with the guns, tanks and trucks with which they fought and even got to meet the Forces Sweetheart , Vera Lynn.

HUNDREDS of WWII veterans were re-united with the guns, tanks and trucks with which they fought and even got to meet the "Forces Sweetheart", Vera Lynn.

Last Saturday ex-servicemen and women gathered at the Glentworth Club in Lowfield Street, Dartford, before travelling to the War and Peace Show at The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood.

The show celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Normandy Campaign and the Battle of Arnhem.

Around 50 drivers from the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled (LTBAWD) took veterans from Kent and south London to the show from the Glentworth.

LTBAWD spokesperson Derek Leone said: "It was a great day, so many people got involved.

"Vera spent a lot of time with the veterans. They all love her to pieces, she stirs a lot of memories in their hearts.

"She is such a lovely person, she doesn't mind giving up her time, signing autographs, having her picture taken and talking to people. She is a real diamond lady."

The four-day-long show gave former soldiers a chance to meet old comrades and exchange memories.

Former tank driver Frank Risbridger, who chairs the Canterbury Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association: "Whenever I see a Churchill tank it's like meeting an old friend. We have members who were ambulance drivers with the Royal Army Medical Corps. When they see a wartime ambulance they are thrilled.

"The War and Peace Show is the only chance most of us get to see these machines, which in 1944 were such an essential part of our lives. But many of our members are on benefits now, and this gesture by the War and Peace organisers gives them a welcome free day out."

The veterans were able to inspect vehicles, which, like them, actually took part in the battles that brought WWII to an end.

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