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Three legs, two friends, one challenge - Dereham mum takes on unique fundraising challenge in memory of her son

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:24 24 May 2018

Ellise Owen with her son Warren

Ellise Owen with her son Warren

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The mother of an RAF soldier who died in a motorcycle is taking on an unusual fundraising activity to raise money for the air cadets, an organisation she says helped to shape her son’s career.

Ellise Owen and Helen Swain. Picture: Ellise OwenEllise Owen and Helen Swain. Picture: Ellise Owen

Ellise Owen, from Dereham, lost her 18 year old son, Warren, in a motorbike accident in 2012 after his bike came off the A1075 near Griston.

Mr Owen was in the RAF Regiment at the time of his death but had previously been a popular and committed member of the 1249 Dereham Squadron of the Air Training Corps (ATC).

Since then Mrs Owen has been determined honour the memory of her son by paying tribute to his passion for the RAF and the town’s air cadet squadron.

Their biggest effort so far has been completing the vigorous four day, 100-mile Nijmegen Marches in Holland in 2014 with close friend and Dereham resident Helen Swain.

Flowers and tributes have been left at the site of the crash where young motorcyclist Warren Owen died. Picture: Ian Burt
Flowers and tributes have been left at the site of the crash where young motorcyclist Warren Owen died. Picture: Ian Burt

This weekend they are taking on their next challenge, which is a shorter 26-mile walk along the full length of Marriott’s Way, stretching from Norwich to Aylsham - they’ll be doing it three-legged.

Mrs Owen said: “Helen and I wanted to support the air cadets again, and chose to do this walk as it would be challenging, require preparation, but hopefully still be fun too.

“We have been training along Marriott’s Way, and have come to realise that walking three-legged requires a lot of co-ordination and patience so it’s a good thing we’re such good friends. Twenty six miles is also quite a distance to walk when you are attached to another person.”

She also praised the air cadets for giving her son the opportunity to take part in a huge range of activities and said that it was due to his time with them that he was able to make an informed decision about joining the RAF.

Warren OwenWarren Owen

“I would urge parents to encourage their children to join the air cadets as it has so much to offer,” she added.

Flt Lt Tracey Allan, commanding officer of 1249 Squadron said the cadets and staff will be on the sidelines cheering the “amazing” pair on. The money they raise will go towards purchasing first aid training equipment for the cadets.

Mrs Owen begins her challenge on Saturday at 7.30am. To support them with a donation you can visit their fundraising page.

Helen Swain (left) and Ellise Owen (right) did the Nijmegen Marches in memory of Warren. With them is Dereham Air Cadets Flt Lt Tracey Allan. Picture: Matthew UsherHelen Swain (left) and Ellise Owen (right) did the Nijmegen Marches in memory of Warren. With them is Dereham Air Cadets Flt Lt Tracey Allan. Picture: Matthew Usher

Ellise Owen and Helen Swain. Picture: Ellise OwenEllise Owen and Helen Swain. Picture: Ellise Owen

MORE: Tributes paid to serviceman from Dereham killed in motorcycle crash

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