Hampshire's Dad's Army
Hampshire's Dad's Army to walk the Normandy beaches for charity
Hampshire's very own Dad's Army is embarking on a sponsored walk taking in all five Normandy beaches to commemorate the D Day landings.
With a combined age of over 700 years, the 12 men will be embarking on their "Walk in the footsteps of Heroes" over four days at the beginning of May and raising funds for the Southampton based multiple sclerosis charity, The Geoff Smith Foundation, and Help for Heroes, which is based in Salisbury.
The event is being sponsored by Hendy Ford Transit Centre in Chandlers Ford which is supplying the transport in the shape of a Ford Transit mini-bus. Mark Busby, Hendy's Group Marketing Director, said: "We're delighted to be supporting this brilliant endeavour and these two really worthwhile charities. I know the guys have been undertaking a strict training regime and I'm very confident they will achieve their objectives."
Covering more than 70 miles along the Normandy coast, the group - all aged in their sixties apart from two - will be starting their adventure at Pegasus Bridge which is situated at the village of Bénouville between Caen and Normandy. The capture of the bridge was a major objective of the British airborne troops during Operation Deadstick, in the opening minutes of the Allied invasion of Normandy. The walk will end with the laying of a wreath at the Free French Monument at Sword Beach, which is also known as the Kieffer Monument, and represents a gigantic flame that pays tribute to all the French servicemen who participated in D-Day. Wreaths to pay respects to the fallen will also be laid at the beaches of Utah, Omaha, Gold and Juno.
Taking part are Laurence Ross, Dave Turpin, Lee Peck, Leighton Moat, John Smith, Tony Frost, Pete Vickery, Mark Bulley, Les Broughton, Mick Earls and Mike Cowie. People can donate on The Geoff Smith Foundation Just Giving site, or visit: www.thegeoffsmithfoundation.co.uk.