Walking for the Wounded through Marlborough - Rugby Club first overnight stop on a gruelling 456 mile hike
Marlborough Rugby Club’s bar and clubhouse was the welcome first stop for Staff Sergeant Zac Thorpe and six other serving soldiers, who have embarked on a challenging 456 mile walk between now and Christmas to raise funds for the ‘Walking with the Wounded’ charity.
The number of miles is significant, each mile represents the life of one service person lost so far in the Afghanistan conflict. Zac is aiming to raise £10 for every mile covered.
Today was just an afternoon stroll, almost a 'walk in the park'. They started off after lunch from Roberts Barracks in Larkhill, covering the 21 miles to Marlborough in exactly five hours and five minutes. But tomorrow will be very different.
After a shower, meal and a well earned sleep they are due to set off for Moreton-in-the-Marsh at the crack of dawn, a distance of 44 miles which they are aiming to cover in fifteen hours.
By Thursday, 10 December, they aim to have reached the National Memorial Arboretum in Alweras, just up the road from Lichfield in Staffordshire in time for a ‘Sun-Down’ commemorative reading.
Then down to London to have tea with the Chelsea Pensioners in the Royal Hospital before turning Northwards again to Lincolnshire, reaching the WW2 Memorial at RAF Cranwell two days later.
Eventually - back home to Parkhill in time for Christmas, weary, foot-sore but knowing that vital funds have been raised for 'Walking with the Wounded'.
‘After several Operational Tours and seeing the effects of war, both physically and mentally on our friends and colleagues, we decided to do something to try and give something back'. At the end of a TV program, DIY SOS they launched the 'Walking home for Christmas' campaign... 'The seed was planted and the idea grew.’ explained Staff Sergeant Zac.
‘Walking with the Wounded’ are a charity set up specifically to help wounded Veterans get back into life. Either physically helping, with everything from workshops to walking, or helping in other ways; ways that people often do not even appear to have an injury and by building confidence and skills to re-integrate with society.
Zac is in good company with six colleagues, Bombardiers Rhys Jay and John Trainor, Lance Bombardiers Daryl Sherwood and Daniel Harris, and Gunners Amy Tilbury and Marc Quinn providing support and encouragement to each other over what will be a gruelling two and a bit weeks.
'I am filled with admiration’ exclaimed Mayor, Councillor Margaret Rose as she, along with fellow Councillors Stewart Dobson and Marian Hannafod-Dobson stopped by at the Rugby Club to give their support.
‘We wish them all good luck and hope that they are able to exceed their fund raising targets for such a good cause’ she added. ‘It is a very poignant reminder of what war is all about and the debt that we owe our service personnel. A fantastic effort that earns all of our respect’.
If you would like to donate to the ‘Walking for the Wounded’ appeal, go to:
or to find out more about the ’Walking with the Wounded’ charity click: