Whilst watching the Chelsea Flower Show coverage I was interested to see the D-Day 75 garden designed by John Everiss was to be transported to France by drivers in 3 lorries at the close of the show.
This episde-1 is available on BBC iplayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00059m1/rhs-chelsea-flower-show-2019-episode-1 – the specific items commences half way through (29 minutes).
My neighbour, Lee Juniper, will be leading this team of drivers and I asked him to let me have some more information and pictures. Further details regarding this project can also be found on Chelsea Pensions
“I was asked by one of my friends and customers to move 3 pallets of peat from Liverpool to Chelsea Flower Show. Of course, me being me, I asked what they would be used for and was told the D-Day 75 Garden, a non judged Garden at the famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
One thing led to another and I was soon in contact with the charity D-Day revisited. https://d-dayrevisited.co.uk/projects/d-day-75-garden/
We delivered 3 artic loads a week ago for the building of the garden from Preston.
Today (Thursday) I went to the see the garden, meet the team and those most important people the Veterans.
We had lunch with them in the Royal Chelsea Hospital. I was lucky enough to sit with two of those veterans, Albert and Doug, with Doug being the youngest DD veteran there at 93!, who also does a great impression of Winston Churchill. Albert was in the Navy and Doug in the Army.
The stories in the two hours, well wasn’t quite what I expected to hear and it would be true to say there was a very large lump in my throat . Two amazing guys a real privilege and honour and something that will stay with me forever.
Well onto next Tuesday when we leave Alconbury at 6am, 5 of us all taking turns driving. Down to Chelsea load, then onto to catch the night boat from Portsmouth to Caen. We arrive in Arromanches in Normandy and unload (Wednesday) on the top of the hill, by the Royal engineers memorial and the 360 cinema which overlooks the town, the sea and of course what remains of the Mulberry Harbour. There the garden will be put back together and remain forever as a reminder.
We return home Wednesday evening stopping at the Cemetery of Ryes, for a moment of reflection before heading back through the Tunnel and home.
The lorries will stay liveried until we retire them in two and half years time (old girls and done a lot of miles) all three lorries have personalized number plates two representing Molly and George my older children, Annie’s gets a rest as it will be doing a trip to the IWM Manchester with the memorial flight on the side of the trailer.
The journey means something to all five of us, World War affected all of us in some way, it’s our last chance to say thank you to the veterans and ensure that we remember.
Thank you Lee for this Post and we look forward to an update when you and your team are in France!