Veterans to return to Normandy shores

Jack Woods, left, and Len Fox celebrate with pints of Monty's Gamble, the Wolf Brewery beer which ha

Jack Woods, left, and Len Fox celebrate with pints of Monty's Gamble, the Wolf Brewery beer which has helped raise money for the Normandy Veterans plans to mark the 70th anniversary in 2014. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

A group of veterans is returning to the Normandy battlefields on June 6 next year to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings after they raised £20,000 for the trip.

The Eastern Daily Press and its sister paper the Norwich Evening News backed the Norwich and District Branch of the Normandy Veterans' Association's fundraising bid.

And the final money raised, a cheque for £1,050, was handed over to branch secretary Jack Woods yesterday at the Duke of Wellington pub in Waterloo Road, Norwich.

The £1,050 consisted of £350 raised from the sale of Wolf Brewery's commemorative beer, Monty's Gamble, during the City of Ale festival earlier this year, which was matched-funded by the festival organisers.

And another £350 was given by the Attleborough brewer's directors, John and Kay Edwards, who said: 'We were pleased to help.'

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Wolf Brewery produced the special cask ale in support of the veterans' fundraising campaign, and it was sold at the Duke of Wellington throughout the festival, with 10p per pint donated to the association.

A competition to the name the beer, a 3.8pc traditional chestnut-coloured British best bitter, was won by Andy Malcolm, from Norwich, who suggested Monty's Gamble.

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'It's great that we raised the money. We all want to go back to Normandy next year. For me it will be the acme, the chance to go back to Normandy to honour my fallen comrades. And the EDP and Evening News and the fundraisers have come up trumps by raising the money. We are very grateful,' Mr Woods said.

Phil Cutter, who is co-chairman of City of Ale with Dawn Leeder, met the veterans at the cheque presentation.

He said: 'It was a privilege to meet the veterans and quite humbling. We talked to them about 18-year-old boys going off to war, which hit home with me, as I've got a son of that age. The veterans said they have reached the £20,000 target, which they needed to raise to allow them to go back to Normandy next year. It's nice to think that City of Ale has helped them.'

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