The dream of Coventry D-Day veteran, 94 year old Dennis Davison, has finally come to fruition. For many years he has wanted to see an apple orchard planted in Coventry as a legacy to the apple orchards of Normandy where he and many others fought for peace in 1944 as part of the D-Day Campaign.
The charity he founded in 2010, Normandy Day UK, has secured funding from the people’s Postcode Lottery, Big Lottery and Heritage Lottery for a Peace orchard on a site in Coundon Hall Park.
During 2018, Cardinal Newman and Coundon Court Schools will work with experts to research the significance of events in 1944, the importance of Coventry’s role as the city of Peace and Reconciliation, local history and the techniques of managing an apple orchard.
In 2016 Dennis was awarded the Legion D’Honour by the French government for his contribution to Normandy Campaign and the British Empire Medal. He said, “For me, this is not a memorial. It’s a practical expression of what unites us. It’s a way of learning how to build peace, learn from the past and create something worthwhile. If the community get behind it, the orchard could produce an apple crop for hundreds of years and delight young people as their trees grow and produce fruit. It’s already a beautiful site. We would like it become a haven of peace that people will want to visit long after I’ve gone.”