Following a previous road trip in 2014, for the 70th D-Day Anniversary, Ben Kaye, Military Vehicles Section Secretary at Shrewsbury Steam Rally, and his family have once again travelled to Normandy. The reason this time was to take part in the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.
One of the vehicles on the trip was a 1940 AEC Matador medium artillery tractor, driven by his father, Tom Kaye and family friend Pete Meakin. Over the course of the ten-day trip from Shrewsbury to Normandy and back, they covered approx 700 miles.
The vehicles were their accommodation for the duration of the trip, during which they took part in various parades and events. The highlight of the trip was actually being on ‘Gold’ beach, at Arromanches, on D-Day 6th June – 75 years after allied forces started coming ashore.
Ben says “We were made very welcome by the French people, who still enthusiastically celebrate their liberation 75 years ago. This was really apparent during the Bayeux liberation parade, where the streets were packed with cheering crowds.
There are very few veterans left now but we were privileged to be able to meet and chat with a few, who were very happy to tell the boys all about their experiences during the Normandy campaign”.
Ben has been the Military Vehicles Section Secretary at Shrewsbury Steam Rally for a number of years, since we re-introduced it as a stand-alone section rather than being integrated with the Commercial Vehicles.