Distinguished author and historian, Sir Max Hastings, was the keynote speaker at an event on 12th June 2024 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of D-Day at the iconic Imperial War Museum.

Over 200 guests, including many prominent military and business leaders, veterans, and supporters were welcomed by our President, General Sir James Everard. Journalist and presenter, Simon McCoy, was our Master of Ceremonies for the evening, held in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund, which since 1944 has provided support to soldiers, former soldiers, and their families in times of hardship or need.

In his speech to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Sir Max shared the insights of Normandy veterans about the risks and challenges for both sides, but particularly the Allied forces involved in this major undertaking. Reflecting on a moving meeting with a Holocaust survivor, Sir Max emphasised the importance of describing not only what happened to servicemen and women, but also: “…to make people … recall that in every war, far more civilians perish than do warriors. 

Sir Max Hastings speaking at D-Day 80th anniversary dinner
Sir Max Hastings speaking at D-Day 80th anniversary dinner

Sir Max also urged his audience to “..extend the commemoration … to embrace all those who fought and often died in the long, long campaign for which D-Day was the mere dramatic curtain-raiser.

Andy Reid MBE, ABF ambassador and veteran, speaking at D-Day 80th anniversary dinner

Army Benevolent Fund ambassador, Andy Reid MBE, later joined the stage to share his moving story and inspire guests to further support the charity. A former Corporal in The Yorkshire Regiment, Andy was injured in Afghanistan in 2009 and left a triple amputee. Astounding people with his recovery, Andy has gone on to establish the Standing Tall Foundation and to raise thousands of pounds for the Army Benevolent Fund, which has helped him at different points of his journey.

Guests attending the D-Day event had the opportunity to enjoy music from the Band of the Welsh Guards and to bid for unique prizes in a live charity auction conducted by our guest auctioneer, Nick Bonham, former MD & Chairman of Bonhams Auctioneers.

This fantastic auction helped the event overall to raise an incredible £65,000 for our work to support soldiers, former soldiers and their families.

Several tables with guests at D-Day 80th anniversary dinner at Imperial War Museum
Guests at D-Day 80th anniversary dinner at Imperial War Museum

The evening would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors, AECOM, City & Country, Level Peaks, MBDA and Select Military, our speakers and staff.

Thank to everyone who supported and attended this special occasion at the Imperial War Museum.


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