Walking to ease the wounds


The sole survivor of a bomber crew shot down in 1942 broke his femur 60 years later when he climbed over the back of his sofa. He thought, at the time, he was escaping from the burning aeroplane, a Halifax bomber.

In fact he had escaped 60 years before, by parachute – the other seven in the crew died. One was Andrew Seymour’s father, and Andrew is organising a sponsored walk Sunday week at Rye Harbour to help wounded veterans – whatever their age – recover from their wounds, mental and physical.

The walk, at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, on Sunday March 20 will raise money for two charities helping veterans Walking With the Wounded and Combat Stress.

Both provide invaluable support for wounded military personnel to overcome physical and mental wounds and help rebuild lives.

There will be a series of three informal walks on the day at the Nature Reserve. Walkers will include the Mayor Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore with her trusty hound Ralf – and well behaved dogs (with leads and poop bags) are welcome.

The walks are two, three and a half , and five miles in length and will take place between 10am and 1 pm.

For more information email walkingatryeharbour@btinternet.com or visit Facebook.com/Walk-for-Veterans-776351592508874/

To donate visit virginmoneygiving.com/team/walk4veterans.

There is a large (currently free) car park at Rye Harbour with nearby loos, a couple of pubs and cafes and a shop, and if you want to make a full day of it the Rye Harbour RNLI lifeboat station and shop will be open in the afternoon.

Bucket collections will be taken on the day and hopefully both charities will be represented.

The fundraising has been organised by Andrew Seymour who served in the Royal Air Force, and whose father captained the shot down Halifax bomber – and he tried to contact the sole survivor some years ago, only to find he was in hospital – after falling over the sofa.

“Combat stress or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has a very long memory” said Andrew “and this decided it for my wife and I to make Combat Stress the charity we would support. There are going to be many military veterans in coming years who will require this expertise”.

[Editor’s note: Stress lingers. My godfather, who served in the RAF with my father, killed himself as a result of his wartime experiences and my mother who lived next door to bomber bases for three long wartime years had bad memories of them being bombed, seeing planes crashing as pilots struggled to get home, and waiting for my father – who, like Andrew’s father, was shot down in 1942]

[Source: Walk For Veterans]

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