On Friday 31 May, the niece of a former Rowntree's factory employee who passed away during the Normandy landings visited the Nestlé York site in remembrance of D-Day’s 75th anniversary.
Mary Holland’s uncle, Marine Commando Robert Casson, was called to war whilst employed by Rowntrees. It is believed he worked on the biscuit line, and therefore during the early days of KitKat. He was sadly shot on a landing aircraft that was headed towards Juno beach on June 6 1944. At Nestlé UK & Ireland, we remember Robert and our other fallen soldiers who lost their lives during WWI & WWII battles, by displaying their names on our stone memorial at the Nestlé York site, on Haxby Road.
On Friday, Mary was accompanied by her husband John who has been in regular contact with the Nestlé UK & Ireland press team regarding Robert’s story and the Hollands involvement with the Normandy Memorial Trust. The Trust approached them last year asking them to share and participate in a 75-day countdown of stories relating to the Normandy Campaign. This is what sparked the Hollands further interest to understand Robert Casson’s full story.
Mary recalled that Robert’s mother received a box of chocolates from the Rowntree’s directors and management every Christmas, and Mary said she remembered eating Rowntrees chocolates as a child every Christmas. This is how she first discovered that her uncle Robert passed away in action on D-Day.
Mary and John were given a tour of the site and spoke over coffee about Robert’s story and his link to the Rowntrees brand with Nestlé office and factory management. As a gift Mary and John were presented with a confectionery hamper by the Nestlé team present. We really enjoyed their visit and hope that the hamper brought back sweet childhood memories for Robert’s niece, Mary.