A large crowd gathered around the War Memorial on Kimpton Road, Luton, on Sunday, honouring Vauxhall’s heroes who lost their lives fighting for freedom and peace in Europe.  David Alexander, Vauxhall’s Chaplain, took a memorable service on Sunday, 11th November, on a cold but bright autumn morning.

David Alexander

Employees and pensioners were encouraged to come forward and read the long list of names of courageous employees who went from building Vauxhall vehicles to fighting on the front line.

Alan Oliver, who had served in the Tank Regiment and was decorated with his medals, laid Vauxhall’s Poppy Wreath.

During the Second World War, the Government commissioned Vauxhall to build a new, extra-strong tank.  In just 89 days, Vauxhall engineers had a prototype tank running – considerably over-delivering on the standard development period of four years – and by the end of the war, Vauxhall had built 5,640 Churchill Tanks.

Vauxhall’s Luton site was bombed twice during the Second World War.  The worst raid was on Friday, 30th August 1940, when 39 employees were killed and 40 injured.

Sunday was a time to remember and Alan Norman, Vauxhall’s IT Finance Security Manager, also an active member of the Salvation Army, stood proudly in front of the Memorial to play the Last Post.