On 11 November, three WWII veterans were escorted by the Taxi Charity to The Leigh UTC in Dartford, to join students and teachers for Remembrance Day assemblies.
The veterans, Frank Pendergast, Bill Gladden and Alec Borrie, who have a combined age of 284 years attended Remembrance Day assemblies at the Leigh UTC with year 7 to 13 students.
During the Remembrance Service assemblies, led by Vice Principal, Neil Arnould, the students, teachers and veterans, observed a two minutes silence, laid two wreathes, heard Clive Barker, Governor of The Leigh UTC read The Wound in Time by Carol Ann Duffy and Jack Davis, a student from year 13 read In Flanders Field by John McCrae.
After the Remembrance Service, students had the opportunity to ask the veterans questions. The questions included; What do you do on Remembrance Sunday? Were you scared during the War? What was it like to be part of D-Day? And what is the best advice you can give to us as we prepare to leave school?
Neil Arnould, Vice Principal, The Leigh UTC, said, “The Leigh UTC was proud to welcome three charismatic veterans to our Remembrance Day Service. The students learn about WWII as part of our curriculum and to be able to meet and ask questions of these veterans is something they will never forget. A large number of students simply wanted to shake hands and thank the veterans which was such a positive thing to see.”
About the Veterans
Frank Pendergast served with the 7th Battalion Parachute regiment and was involved in Pegasus Bridge during WWII.
Bill Gladden was in the 6th Airborne, Armoured Recce Regiment, he landed in Ranville on D Day in landing Zone N, aged 20. His glider carried a 7-ton tank and 8 motorbikes.
Alec Borrie, a member of the SAS, worked behind the lines with the French Resistance in France, Holland and Germany.
About The Leigh UTC
The Leigh UTC offers outstanding STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) learning for 653 students throughout years 7 to 13, specialising in Engineering and Computer Science.
Located in Dartford, Kent, The Leigh UTC aims to develop curious, academically skilled young people who aspire to be principled, compassionate learners. It is the first UTC in the UK to accept students aged 11.
About the Taxi Charity
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans was formed in Fulham in 1948, to work for the benefit, comfort and enjoyment of military veterans and arranges many trips every year for veterans from all conflicts.
The charity offers international trips to Holland, Belgium and France, UK day trips to concerts or museums, transport to attend fundraising events, as well as special days out to catch up with friends and comrades.
To fund and facilitate these outings, the charity is wholly reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses and trusts and the amazing group of London licensed taxi drivers who offer their time and vehicles free.