Family’s vintage military vehicles heading for D Day 75th anniversary in France

A Shropshire family with a passion for restoring vintage military vehicles is heading to Normandy to take part in events to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings on June 6.

Morris Lubricants’ chairman Andrew Goddard presents drums of oil to Ben Kaye watched by his sons, Sam and Will, his parents Tom and Julie Kaye and Robin Frostick with the Scammell Pioneer R100 and AEC Matador in the background
Morris Lubricants’ chairman Andrew Goddard presents drums of oil to Ben Kaye watched by his sons, Sam and Will, his parents Tom and Julie Kaye and Robin Frostick with the Scammell Pioneer R100 and AEC Matador in the background

Ben Kaye, 42, of Mytton, near Shrewsbury has enlisted help from his father, Tom, 72, and friends Peter Meakin from Bomere Heath and Robin Frostick from Vennington to restore a 1940 AEC Matador medium artillery tractor especially for the historic anniversary.

Also making the 300-mile journey to Normandy beaches at Arromanches will be a 1940 Scammell Pioneer R100 heavy artillery tractor.

Ben will be joined on the trip by his wife Emma, sons Sam, 10 and Will, eight, parents, Tom and Julie and friends Robin and Helen Frostick and Peter. Pat Jagger, from Pentre, is transporting the Scammell Pioneer R100 on a low loader.

To ensure that the vehicles run smoothly during their French adventure, Shrewsbury-based Morris Lubricants has donated heavy duty engine and gear oils to Ben, a loyal customer.

The Kaye family and friends leave for France on Friday, May 31 and will take part in a series of parades and events in the week leading up to the D Day anniversary.

They will be taking with them a wreath to be laid in the sea on behalf of Emma’s grandfather, Charles Owen, a former Royal British Legion parade marshal and a white ensign belonging to Ben’s former primary school teacher, Ann Malpass from Mytton, which was displayed on a gunboat captained by her late father on D Day, June 6, 1944.

“It’s a great responsibility to take the white ensign because few flags survived after the D Day landings, which makes it rare and valuable,” said Ben, who runs a busy Range Rover and Land Rover repair and diagnostics business.

“We will be on the beach at Arromanches early on the morning of June 6 and we all have to be off the beach early because of a high tide.

“There will be veterans there for the events and we think it’s important for them to be spotlighted for what they did for us 75 years ago. Sadly, the number of D Day veterans decreases at every anniversary.

“Had we not got a foothold in Europe through the D Day landings, we would probably have been invaded by the Germans. It turned the tide of the war and I think it’s important to remember the guys that died there to keep us free.

“A card written by my mum and attached to a wreath that my sons placed in the sea at Arromanches for the 70th anniversary in 2014 best summed it up for me. It read: ‘With our sincerest gratitude to the bravery of those who fought and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we, the following generations, could have the opportunity to live in peace and freedom.’

Ben, who has always been fascinated with military vehicles, began collecting vehicles to restore at the age of 19, when he bought his first Scammell Pioneer SV25 recovery vehicle for £2,000 with a student loan.

His father, who was craft teacher at Meole Brace Secondary School for 38 years, then caught the collecting bug and they now have 15 vehicles, including two tanks and five Scammells.

Ben’s passion for Scammells hold no bounds, as he went out on his first date with Emma in the recovery vehicle, which was also used when they got married.

His latest restoration project, a Scorpion tank, is nearing completion after 14 years and Ben has promised to drive it to school to collect his sons this summer. 

Sam and Will are being allowed by the school to take a week off to travel to France for the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings. The headteacher recognises that it is a special occasion and will be of significant educational value to them.

“The attraction for me of restoring vintage military vehicles is the history,” explained Ben. “It’s being able to do something that I enjoy as a hobby and a passion which I can share with Emma and the boys.”

He thanked Morris Lubricants, one of Europe’s leading family owned lubricants companies which is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, for donating the oils.

Ring Free XHD 30W monograde is a high quality engine oil particularly recommended for haulage, plant contractors and certain mixed fleet operations and Golden Film AG 140 Gear Oil is a mineral oil-based lubricant, formulated without extreme pressure additives which offers natural film strength, anti-foam performance and long-term stability.

“I buy all the oil for my hobby and business from Morris Lubricants because it’s good quality and the back-up service is excellent,” explained Ben. “You can ring their technical department with a query and speak to a human being which means a lot when you are working on cars that can be worth up to £100,000.”

Andrew Goddard, Morris Lubricants’ chairman, said the company was delighted to supply oil for the Kaye family’s British vintage military vehicles that will be travelling to the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings.

“These engine and gear oils are perfect for Ben’s vehicles,” he added. “They are recommended for use in veteran, classic and vintage vehicles, where engine design and tolerances prohibit the use of modern multigrade, high additive level oils.”  

Shropshire Live
Shropshire Live has been providing Shropshire with independent news and entertainment since 2009. Send us your news to or call 01743 818 095. For advertising information call Fiona on 01743 816 817.
- Advertising -

Featured Articles

Shropshire Oktoberfest returns to Shrewsbury

The huge beer tent for Shropshire Oktoberfest is due to return to Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park on the 4 and 5 October 2019.
aico building

Aico Open Day to welcome local community and employees

Aico, the Market Leader in domestic Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms, will be relocating in October 2019 to a brand-new purpose-built three storey building in Oswestry.

Councillors approve £14m funding and land transfer for new homes

Shropshire Councillors have today agreed £14 million funding and the transfer of land to enable its new wholly-owned local housing company to start building homes.
Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for Housing, at a stalled site with Gavin Ashford, the council's Strategic Planning Team Leader. Photo: Telford & Wrekin Council

Telford & Wrekin Council secures £3.7m grant to help build new homes on brownfield sites

Telford & Wrekin Council has secured a £3.7m grant from the West Midlands Combined Authority to kick start the building of new homes on stalled brownfield sites across the borough.

Hospital Trust commended for good practice by national programme

Areas of good practice at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) have been highlighted by a national NHS clinical improvement programme.
Zara Gregory, Sally Compson-Lea, Marcin Makarewicz, Tom Hardwidge, Daisy Watkins. Middle J Baker, Albert Makarewicz, Jessica Compson-Lea, Harry Lea. Front Evie Dennis and Anna Bradford. Not pictured but also successful - Ellie Yeomans and Lewis Crook

Gold medals, world champs, new belts at Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do

Hard-working martial artists at Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do have been training hard at their base at Oldbury Wells School and are reaping the rewards.

Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 4 – 3 Southend United

Shrewsbury Town doubled their goal count for the season last night as they edged a 4-3 thriller against beleaguered Southend United.
Jack Draper in action. Picture courtesy of Getty Images for the LTA

Rising British stars set to compete in top Shrewsbury tennis tournament next week

An exciting line up of rising British tennis stars is set to compete in next week’s Budgen Motors ITF World Tour M25 Shrewsbury tournament.
- Advertising -
Salop Leisure’s marketing manager Ed Glover (left) with Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s head of community Jamie Edwards, partnerships and events manager Ceri Nicholls and staff

Salop Leisure renews support for Shrewsbury Town in the Community

Salop Leisure, which was the first business to sign up as a ‘friend’ to support Shrewsbury Town in the Community three years ago, has just renewed its partnership pledge.
Rowena Grundy

New Marketing Executive at Hunter Bevan

Oswestry-based marketing and design company Hunter Bevan Ltd has appointed Rowena Grundy as Marketing Executive.
Alan Roberts with Anna Sadler, from the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire, at the Wem event

Let’s Do Business roadshow heads to Ludlow after Wem success

Experts are taking a business roadshow to Ludlow after a hugely successful event in Wem.
Jill at work in her studio

Shropshire glass artist celebrates reaching award finals

A Shropshire artist is celebrating after reaching the regional finals of the Rural Business Awards.

Project aimed at helping Shropshire Children in Care Launched by Shrewsbury Town in the Community

Shrewsbury Town in the Community has teamed up with Children in Need for a new project for Shropshire children in care.
One of the many photos on display at the exhibition. Photo: Dave Bagnall

Ironbridge towers seen through the lens at photography exhibition

As time ticks away before the iconic Ironbridge cooling towers are demolished, an exhibition showing pictures of the landmark through the years will be on display during the Festival of Imagination.
- Advertising -
John Lennon with his fellow Beatles as global fame beckoned. Photo: Terrence Spencer

Lennon film director in Shropshire for Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend

A top film director will be in Shropshire this weekend to talk about one of the world’s most influential songwriters.
The cast of Aladdin at Shrewsbury's Theatre Severn. Photo: Chris Pritchard

Theatre Severn pantomime Aladdin to take audiences on a magic carpet ride of fun

The cast of Aladdin at Theatre Severn has been unveiled as the venue prepares to repeat the success of last year's pantomime Mother Goose.
Councillor Rae Evans with the Jack and the Beanstalk cast. Photo: Telford & Wrekin Council

Telford’s Jack and the Beanstalk panto to offer something for the whole family

Jack and the Beanstalk at The Place will offer something for the whole family this Christmas as Telford's 20th pantomime is celebrated.
Shropshire Oktoberfest

Reusable beer cups to be launched at Shropshire Oktoberfest

Over 150 different real ales are to be served up in reusable beer cups at Shropshire Oktoberfest which takes place on October 4 and 5.
James Sherwin is the founder and owner of Wild Shropshire Restaurant, located at Tern Hill Farmhouse in North Shropshire

Double win for Wild Shropshire Restaurant at The Restaurant Awards 2019 Midlands Edition

Wild Shropshire Restaurant, Tern Hill, has been picked as a winner in two categories in the inaugural Restaurant Awards 2019 Midlands Edition.
Salopian Brewery are celebrating their award win

International Beer Challenge success for Salopian Brewery

Salopian Brewery is celebrating following success at the 2019 International Beer Challenge.
- Advertisment -

Featured Articles


clear sky
12.4 ° C
13.9 °
10 °
81 %
0 %
11 °
19 °
20 °
17 °
17 °
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Latest Articles

- Advertisment -