Team hon­our Falk­lands trek

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS - STU­ART GREER

ATEAM of fundrais­ers are recre­at­ing an iconic 75-mile walk fol­low­ing the foot­steps of Bri­tish sol­diers dur­ing the Falk­lands war.

The 11-strong group in­cludes Roger Wood, 55, founder of pet food firm MPM Prod­ucts in Mac­cles­field, and John Fay, 47, from Prest­bury.

They are joined by Ian Lan­g­ley, 59, chair­man of Air En­ergi who lives in Wilm­slow, and Tari Mirza, 56, a prop­erty en­tre­pre­neur from Wilm­slow who also served on the SS Can­berra dur­ing the Falk­land’s con­flict.

The team aim to repli­cate the now fa­mous jour­ney com­pleted by the 45 Com­mando Royal Marines.

The aim of the walk is to raise funds for a RAF Benev­o­lent Fund project to build a £300,000 respite home for RAF per­son­nel.

The men are part of the April Fools Club, founded by John Fay, a group of 40 business ex­ec­u­tives who support the RAF.

The Falk­lands ‘ yomp’ hap­pened at the start of the con­flict in 1982. After sail­ing 8,000 miles to re­cover the Falk­land Is­lands from Ar­gen­tine oc­cu­pa­tion and lack­ing he­li­copters and ba­sic sup- plies, the 45 Com­mando ‘yomped’ in appalling weather car­ry­ing over­loaded ruck­sacks, across un­sta­ble and dan­ger­ous ground.

With ex­treme hard­ship, it took 45 Com­mando more than three weeks to cross east Falk­land with the threat posed by Ar­gen­tine forces com­pounded by the on­set of the win­ter.

They went on to fight the cru­cial night bat­tle for TTwo Sis­ters, the twin 1,000- foot-high peaks which were key to the de­fen­sive po­si­tions around the cap­i­tal Port Stan­ley.

The team plan to do the walk in five days stop­ping at bat­tle sites along the way such as New House, Dou­glas, Teal In­let, Mount Kent, Two Sis­ters, Sap­per Hill and Stan­ley, to pay their re­spects.

Roger said: “We in­tend to faith­fully follow the route and take in as many of the bat­tle­field scenes as we can. Ours will be a much eas­ier ex­pe­ri­ence than that of the marines 30 years ago, of course.

We won’t have to carry the enor­mous packs that the mil­i­tary had to en­dure and we will have far bet­ter equip­ment. We will also ben­e­fit from sum­mer weather, although the tem­per­a­ture is not likely to rise above seven de­grees.”

All those tak­ing part have been un­der­tak­ing train­ing since 2014 and met for a joint train­ing camp re­cently which in­volved two nights out in the South Downs walk­ing across damp and rough ter­rain.

John Fay, a for­mer RAF re­serve, said: “The yomp across the is­lands will go down in mil­i­tary his­tory as an epic en­deav­our that con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the suc­cess­ful lib­er­a­tion of the is­lands.

“It seemed par­tic­u­larly apt to com­bine our work with the RAF with a physi- cal chal­lenge that would cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion to raise funds for the RAF Benev­o­lent Fund.

“So many of our ser­vice per­son­nel re­turn from con­flict with wel­fare needs, se­ri­ous in­jury, men­tal health prob­lems and some­times con­se­quen­tial fi­nan­cial pres­sures.”

The group leave the UK on Fe­bru­ary 8.

● 45 Com­mando dur­ing he march across the Falk­lands, taken by Marine veteran Peter Holdgate

● John Fay and Roger Wood (right) will be repli­cat­ing the jour­ney

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.