The original Flame was lit in Portsmouth, UK on 12th September 1948 by Field-Marshall Bernard Montgomery. His words are as relevant in our times as they were in 1948 - the newspaper article the link above directs to was from the same day that the Berlin blockade started and the Iron Curtain was falling.
Montgomery's words on that day echoed the instability of post war Europe and the fragility of the peace that had been fought for at such immense cost.
He understood that apathy would result in a relapse back into chaos and that the creation and maintenance of Freedom needed positive action.
Bernard Montgomery's words ring true today as much as they ever did. Indeed, it could be said that he was decades ahead of his time.
From Portsmouth the torch was carried to Bayeux in Normandy and thenceforth to Eindhoven. Bayeux and Eindhoven have been designated the first towns liberated in their countries. Bayeux was liberated on D Day, 6th June 1944 and Eindhoven on September 18th, 1944 (It later transpired that Maastricht was liberated four days earlier). Bayeux and Eindhoven have been closely linked ever since.
The Flame from Eindhoven is taken to Bayeux each September by bicycle and on foot. It is "refreshed" there in a ceremony at the Bayeux monument and then taken back to Eindhoven, again on foot and by bicycle.
The project is summed up by the incredibly wise words of Hull D Day Veteran and Committee member Ray Lord
"It is never time to forget, but it is always time to forgive."
We are extremely privileged to have Bernard Montgomery's son, the 2nd Viscount Montgomery of Alamein as our Patron. The ethic expressed by his father lives on and this project's aims and objectives are to express that ethic to create good in the World.
We also have Mr John Millin as a Patron, son of the famous D Day piper, Bill Millin. The man who marched along the water's edge playing pipes while all around him was chaos.