'What we did will not be forgotten': veterans reflect at Remembrance service
PUBLISHED: 17:03 14 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:04 14 November 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
Normandy veterans from Norfolk felt their sacrifice would be remembered forever as they reflected upon a surprise remembrance service to honour them.
Speaking at a surprise event in Norwich Jack Woods, who served with the 9th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment and stormed the beach on D-Day in 1944, said 2018 - the centenary of the end of the First World War - was particularly poignant.
Mr Woods, 94, said: “This year the Remembrance Day celebrations feel really special. It reminds us that what we did will not be forgotten for years and years to come. It makes us feel like we are respected and that people care about what we did, it’s amazing.”
Mr Woods was just one of those at an event held at the Boundary pub in Norwich’s Mile Cross which included hymns and bible passages. It complete with a lone piper and vicar Mandy Bishop, Rector of Flegg Group Ormesby Benefice, leading the service.
Jonathon Childs, pictured below, landlord at the Boundary, said: “We organised this event today as a lot of the Normandy beach veterans are in their 90s and quite old, for them to go to the big remembrance parades in their local areas is very hard.
“Sometimes the services can be too long meaning the veterans could get cold or they might end up needing the bathroom.
“We have the pleasure of them coming here for a meeting every month anyway, so we thought it would be great to surprise them as a way of saying thank you and a mark of respect for people that made the ultimate sacrifice and others that survived.”
After the service everybody in attendance enjoyed drinks food and cake supplied by the pub.
Mr Woods, who lives in Norwich, added: “When we arrived we could see that something was going on, we were shocked once we realised what [Mr Childs] had done for us. What a man.”
Soldiers and sailors from the Royal Air Force, Navy and Army were in attendance, along with children from the Girl Guides and Scouts.
Mr Childs said: “I thought it was important for children that are part of the Cubs and Scouts to come to the service so that they could meet the veterans. It’s all about interaction and getting the older and younger generations to meet.”