Trekking the Pennine Way...
PUBLISHED: 13:32 06 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:07 10 May 2010
A TEAM of 30 soldiers from the Carver Barracks at Wimbish are taking a break from their duties on base to trek the Pennine Way for charity at the end of the month. The group of dedicated servicemen are tackling the arduous 268-mile course, along the backb
A TEAM of 30 soldiers from the Carver Barracks at Wimbish are taking a break from their duties on base to trek the Pennine Way for charity at the end of the month.
The group of dedicated servicemen are tackling the arduous 268-mile course, along the backbone of England, to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Sgt Simon Mepham said that although it was going to be hard work, the 30 soldiers taking part were looking forward to it.
He said: "The guys taking part make up the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) workshop, an attachment to the 33 Royal Engineers that basically look after the maintenance side of the unit. We provide mechanical and technical backup.
"Although some of us are currently out on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, everyone who's based here at Wimbish will be taking part."
Half of the 30 soldiers will begin their trek at the southern end of the Pennine Way, the Old Nag's Head pub in Edale. The other half will set off from the northern end, Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.
Sgt Mepham said: "We'll meet up in the middle, with someone from Marie Curie, for a photo opportunity and to raise awareness that not all that we do is doom and gloom - we do a lot of positive things like this too."
The trek has been meticulously planned - all overnight stops have been arranged and daily distances calculated. If the soldiers encounter any problems they will be able to fall back on two support vehicles, one with each team, providing backup and carrying extra supplies.
"We're aiming to be completely self-sufficient," said Sgt Mepham, "we'll carry with us enough rations for 24 to 48 hours, as well as wet weather clothing, cooking equipment and tents - probably between 25kg and 30kg each."
The army veteran, who has been in the military for 18 years, last tackled the Pennine Way in 1987, when he completed it in 15 days. He estimates that due to the high levels of physical fitness of the soldiers taking part, it could be done in 11 days, but is allowing 16 in case there are any complications.
He said: "It's a bit of a logistical nightmare getting everything sorted, but everyone's most definitely looking forward to it. The Pennine Way is a beautiful landscape and the trek will form some great adventure training."
The REME team have not set a target for their fund-raising, saying instead that they would like simply to raise as much as possible.
If you would like to donate towards the soldiers' cause, Sgt Mepham wishes people to give directly to Marie Curie Cancer Care. This can be done by visiting their website at www.mariecurie.org.uk or by calling 0800 716146.