Snowdon climb in memory of Afghanistan Royal Anglians

Family and friends of loved ones who have been killed and injured while on duty in Afghanistan have pulled together to organise a fundraising hike to the summit of Mount Snowdon.

The trek will raise money for the forces charity Help for Heroes and remember members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Vikings, who lost their lives during a six month tour from October 2009 to April 2010, called Op Herrick 11.

Having named themselves Team Herrick 11, the group of eight, who met through the Viking Family Support Group, each has their own personal reason for taking part. Team leader Paul Allen, 46, of Barnham near Thetford, chose the location, and his son Mark, a 19-year-old private, lost a leg when he was blown from his feet by an improvised explosive device (IED) whilst on patrol in Musa Qaleh. The other was amputated at Camp Bastion because of the severity of his wounds.

His father's idea was born of a promise made at Mark's bedside that they would one day walk Mount Snowdon, although Mark will not be able to join the team on this occasion.

Mr Allen said: 'The first and last time I found myself on Mount Snowdon was November 11, 1981. We had made the summit and were waiting for the eleventh hour.

'This is where we had our-minute silence to remember those that had fallen. It was a beautiful crisp morning, steam was pouring from our bodies from the climb, but there we were all alone, up with the gods looking across this beautiful planet.

'I was then a serving soldier in training with the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Artillery, and we were then on two weeks adventure training in Snowdonia. On the descent I remember thinking I would return here one day. Little did I think it would be some 30 years before that return.'

Most Read

Also climbing will be Mike Grigg, 54, from Stradbroke near Eye, whose son James, a 21-year-old private was killed by an IED in March last year alongside L/Cpl Scott Hardy.

Completing the team will be Nigel Parsley, 47, from Ipswich, whose son Matt was caught up in the blast which killed James Grigg and Scott Hardy but was uninjured; Martin Greenland, 45, of Sheringham, whose son Dan, 21, a private, was close friends with Robert Hayes and Adam Drane; Des Drane, 46, of Stannifield in Suffolk, whose son L/Cpl Adam, 23, based at Paraang, was killed in December; David Driver, 32, from Barnsley whose twin brother Captain Martin Driver died from injuries he suffered last year, and Kate Snowdon, 20, a student from Thetford, who has family and friends in the forces.

Team Herrick 11, which has already raised more than �1,000, will climb on June 4 using the Llamberis path, the longest route up the mountain, which is 11 miles up and down and involves climbing to 3,000ft.

To sponsor them go to the website at www.teamherrick11.co.uk.

rebecca.gough@archant.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter