A group of 8 year six children went to South Holmwood on Tuesday to take part in Taxi Day. For 70 years, taxi drivers in London have brought war veterans to Worthing for a day out and to break up their journey they have stopped in South Holmwood for tea, cakes, and sandwiches. One elderly gentleman said that he had been a child in the 40s, and remembers giving the veterans tea and cakes... and cigarettes! That's not something our year 6s were asked to do this time around!
The children mingled and mixed with the veterans and learned a lot about the war and what it was like to fight for your country. They asked about the veterans' medals, and were shown lots of photographs of when the veterans were 17 and 18.
Many people commented that the children were impeccably behaved, showed real interest, were very polite, and were confident enough to walk around the room and approach people with a smile. It was a delight to watch them talking and they were a credit to the school and to their parents.
This wonderful tradition is little known apart from in the immediate area, but it shows true selflessness and humanity. One veteran told me that he thinks it's wonderful that the taxi drivers give up a whole day, and that the people of South Holmwood and the local area bake cakes and make sandwiches both in the morning and for the return journey in the afternoon. I pointed out that his and the other veterans' sacrifices had been much, much greater.