Paying respects to the fallen

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On September 15 and 16 my mother, Stephanie, and I will be taking part in the ‘Wenches in Trenches’ Sponsored Walk, an all-female walk along 22 miles of the British Front Line of 1st July 1916, the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Along the way we will be stopping at cemeteries and memorials to pay our respects to the fallen. The walk will finish at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, which has on it the names of over 72,000 men who have no known grave.

Stephanie, who works in finance and administration, and myself, who works with people with epilepsy, both have a long-standing interest in the Battlefields of France and Flanders, and have visited many times, travelling every year on the 11th November to France or Belgium for the Armistice.

The walk is in aid of BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association), Children’s Forces Trust, a charity devoted to helping children whose father or mother has sustained life threatening injuries while serving as a member of the British Armed Forces, RBL Somme Branch and La Boisselle Study Group, a long term archaeological project on the Somme. Last year the ladies raised a total of £35,000.

Donations can be made via Paypal on the website www.southwestforcestrust.co.uk or by sending a cheque made payable to South West Forces Trust, to 46 Longpoles Road, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 7JZ.

JANINE COBBY

Longpoles Road, Cranleigh