Team honour Falklands trek
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