Solihull firm helps Knowle veterans mark Remembrance Sunday

Transport provided to commemoration service.

A unique partnership which has seen a Solihull private hire coach firm help veterans attend their local Remembrance service has celebrated another successful year.

For more than 35 years, LandFlight has transported hundreds of former servicemen from Knowle Royal British Legion club to the village’s annual parade, making life a little easier on such an important day in their calendars.

On Sunday, a free bus took more than a dozen veterans, aged up to 90, to the annual Knowle Remembrance parade and service, which commemorates the contribution of servicemen and women in the two world wars and later conflicts.

Former serviceman Gordon Holland, 86, from Knowle, has been using the bus for much of the past decade and is grateful for the help in reaching the service he once marched to.

Gordon, who was stationed in Singapore for 14 months during his time in the Armed Forces, said: “We moved here in 1959 and almost every year since then I have gone to the parade. It’s one of the biggest around the region, with scouts, Brownies and Army cadets all there. I used to march up there but I’ve struggled with my walking for some time now, so it really is a help to me, in particular. It’s very kind of LandFlight to supply us with a bus and I know everyone at the legion is very grateful.”

Ray Warren, 70, is chairman of Knowle British Legion club and said the support of LandFlight helped make each year’s parade and service go smoothly for members. He commented: “LandFlight, or Silverline as they were in the beginning, started providing free transport for us decades ago. I’m not entirely sure how it came about but when I joined in the 70s they always gave us a lift in a little minibus. Now, we can have up to 25 veterans going to the parade and service, so they are good enough to provide us with a coach. We’re very grateful for their help.

“Here in Knowle, it is one of the best parades I know of outside Bedworth, which is traditionally known as the best in the country. We can have between 400 and 600 veterans on parade and as we walk back to the service there are always up to 300 on the side of the road watching. It fills you with pride and is great to see.”

LandFlight director Danny Matthews is delighted the firm has been able to continue its support of the Legion members. He said: “It’s a pleasure to donate a driver and bus each year. The company had been helping the Legion and its members since long before any of us here were involved, so we’re more than happy to continue the tradition for as long as we are required.”