Horsham family’s 75-mile trek to France in D-Day tribute

From left: Daisy Nolan, Dave Harney and David Harney
From left: Daisy Nolan, Dave Harney and David Harney

As the district gets ready to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day a Horsham family will honour the major event by taking on a fundraising trek.

Dave Harney along with his son David and step-daughter Daisy Nolan are set to take on a huge challenge as they look to follow the route taken by one of their relatives involved in the pivotal Second World War battle.

The trio will be trekking 75-miles from Dorset to Normandy as part of an event paying tribute to the Glider Pilot regiment which played a vital role in the 1944 landings.

Dave’s father-in-law Geoff Barkway was part of regiment which saw a team of six aircraft with no engines glide stealthily into German occupied territory. They were tasked with taking over key bridges - including the crucial Pegasus Bridge - which prevented German re-enforcements from reaching the beaches.

Dave said he was excited and terrified of the mammoth journey which the team will attempting to complete in just two days.

He said: “It’s a small type of payback. They went to war and risked their life, I’m just doing a walk.”

Dave added he was also trekking to honour his father who was one of the Lancaster Bomber pilots involved in the Pointe du Hoc D-Day bombing on the Normandy shore.

The team will begin their 75-mile journey on June 5 at the former RAF base at Tarrant Rushton with the aim of making it to Pegasus Bridge in time for the commemorations on June 6.

They are set to be joined by more than 100 people who will each be representing one of the crew members from each glider involved in the operation.

Daisy will be proudly representing her grandfather Geoff whilst Dave will represent his co-pilot Peter Boyle.

David Harney will represent Lt Sandy Smith and they will all be running in formation taken by the gliders when they arrive at the finish line at Pegasus Bridge.

The trek will be raising money for the Veterans Charity and so far the trio have raised more than £4,000.

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/d-harney