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Light Dragoons wives trek across north Norfolk coast for soldiers’ charity

PUBLISHED: 12:13 11 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:13 11 June 2013

Lady Dragoons charity walk. Pictured L-R: Stacey Loughney, Nicola Grahame, Jo Thirlaway, Kerry Wilkinson, Claire Cuthbertson

Lady Dragoons charity walk. Pictured L-R: Stacey Loughney, Nicola Grahame, Jo Thirlaway, Kerry Wilkinson, Claire Cuthbertson

Archant

A team of soldiers’ wives has completed a 50-mile trek across the north Norfolk coast to raise money for wounded troops and the families of battlefield casualties.

The 21 women who finished the two-day charity walk from Cromer to Hunstanton last weekend were married to members of the Light Dragoons, based at Swanton Morley, near Dereham.

So far, they have raised more than £9,000 for The Light Dragoons Colonel’s Appeal, the regimental charity which supports wounded servicemen and women, and the families of those killed in action.

Justine Plant, wife of commanding officer Lt Col Sam Plant, said: “Everybody on the walk knew someone who had been injured, so the charity is just very close to our hearts. We live on the camp and we have all been here through both the last two tours (of Afghanistan), so when someone gets hurt it, affects us all.

“Some of the soldiers doubted that we could finish it, but they are all very impressed that we did.

“It was a massive challenge. Everyone has been training for months, even though we’ve all got children or jobs. But it is such a long way and the wear on your feet is extraordinary. People really dug deep to do this. Some people had blisters and problems with their knees – it was so exhausting but I am so happy that everybody finished.”

One of the wives, Claire Stone, posted this message on her Facebook page today following the walk: “Every blister, every ache, every toenail that fell off was worth it, RIP all Light Dragoons that we have lost, we did it for you and your family’s and you were all certainly in my thoughts through the hardest of times....xxx.”

The walk was supported by two army medics – also women – including one who was injured in a bomb blast during the regiment’s tour of Afghanistan last year.

The “Lady Dragoons” have already collected £9,000 from their trek, and hope to push the final sum into five figures.

One of the aims of the Colonel’s Appeal is to give “enduring support” to the relatives of Light Dragoons killed on duty.

The charity has recently been able to help Samantha Davidson, whose husband, Sgt Lee Davidson, died in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan in September. Mrs Davidson has two young sons and baby daughter, who was born three months after Sgt Davidson was killed.

To donate, see www.virginmoneygiving.com/ladydragoons.

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