Surrey Veteran First Woman to Light Liberation Flame

WWII veteran Marie Scott 96 became the first female veteran to light the flame of liberation at midnight on 4 May in the Netherlands.

Marie Scott who transmitted messages to and from the beaches on D Day in WWII was given the honour of lighting the liberation flame in Wageningen at midnight on 4 May in front of thousands in the town and millions watching live on Dutch national TV.

In the Netherlands the 4 May is the Dutch day of remembrance, followed by a public holiday on the 5 May to celebrate the country’s liberation from German occupation. Wageningen is the site of the German capitulation and the town attracts thousands of visitors for the midnight remembrance event on the 4 May and the Liberation parade which is held the following day.

The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans has been bringing WWII veterans to participate in the parade since 2012 and each year the parade organisers choose a veteran to light the Liberation flame at midnight. This year the honour was given to Marie Scott,  the first female veteran to light the flame. The following day Marie was invited  to sit with dignitaries including Joanna Roper,  His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to watch the liberation parade which is led by the Taxi Charity driving veterans through the packed streets.

WWII veteran Marie Scott said,

“It was an absolute honour to be the first woman to be  asked to light the liberation flame and I could not believe that they had bestowed this incredible privilege on me. I did not lay down my life on the battlefields like the men did but we all played our own part in fighting for freedom. My life has totally changed over the last six years since I became involved with the Taxi Charity and I am loving every minute of being involved with this wonderful group.”

After the parade, to the delight of the Taxi Charity, the Ambassador Joanna Roper and British Defence Attaché Piers Strudwick, took time out of their schedules to spend some time with the veterans and volunteers at their hotel.

Brian Heffernan, London Taxi Driver and Chairman of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans said,

“We have had a superb trip to the Netherlands for Dutch Liberation. During our visit we were inundated with requests for media interviews with Marie and other veterans,  the people turned out in their thousands on 5 May to see the veterans in the liberation parade and we had a marvellous impromptu visit from the British Ambassador  and the British Defence Attaché which made the whole occasion even more special”

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