David Leon Teacher MBE, was one of the first men to land in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, driving his Bedford QL truck onto Juno beach under heavy bombardment.
And now, thanks to Halifax businessman Craig Keeble, 93-year-old David, who received his MBE for his charitable work, hopes to recreate his epic journey on the anniversary of D-Day, 73 years later,
Mr Teacher has written a book of his wartime experiences with the help of Chris Cookson of the Imperial War Museum North and they wanted a Bedford truck for the cover shot.
They were introduced to Mr Keeble, a military vehicle enthusiast and owner of transport company, Hindle Hire Ltd, who was happy to help out with the loan of one of his vehicles.
He said: “I was in the army myself and my grandfather was a Normandy veteran so I was honoured to be able to help.
“When I was told about David’s story, and that he was hoping to go back to Juno beach in June, it was a very humbling experience and so I offered to take him there in the Bedford QL.”
Mr Teacher relies on a wheelchair to get around and so Mr Keeble and a group of volunteers are in the process of adapting the truck to enable him to travel as a passenger in it.
The plan is for Mr Keeble to transport the vehicle to Portsmouth on a low-loader, take the ferry to France, and then drive it onto Juno beach to the very spot where Mr Teacher came ashore. It’s an ambitious, and very expensive plan, not least because the truck does around eight miles to the gallon.
Mr Teacher and Mr Cookson have been travelling around the country to fairs and shows, selling the book, called Beyond My Wildest Dreams, in a bid to raise the necessary funds for the nine-day trip. They have already raised £6,000 with another £2,000 to go to their target.
The book is available from Amazon or if you would like to donate to the crowd-fund, go to www.justgiving.com and search David Teacher RAF.