Before I start, a little background. Between the begining of August and the 11th November 1918, the Western Front saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the entire war. This wasn’t trench warfare of the Somme or Paschendale, this was mobile war. It involved not going over the top from time to time, but rather a continuous, slow advance. In those few short weeks all sides took huge casualties. It’s hard to know for certain, because there was no single battle, and because it was largely over ground that had been fought over for so long, but estimates put the losses into the millions; perhaps 2.2m men were killed, wounded, captured or went missing in the space of 5 months. At the end of it Allied forces from France, the UK, the US, and across the Commonwealth had pushed German forces back over 100km – an advance which would have been unthinkable in 1917. Exhausted and realising total defeat was at hand Germany surrendered at 11am on 11th November 1918.
In October 2018 I will be walking the lines of the advance, and over four days will cover the 100km on foot to raise money for the ABF Soldier’s Charity. Since 1944 the ABF has been providing support to current and former service personnel at key moments in their lives – whether that’s recovering from illness or injury, transitioning to civilian life or providing financial, emotional and physical support to those in need. There are something like 2.6m current and former members of the armed forces living in the UK right now, many of whom served in the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and all of whom deserve access to assistance when they need it most
In order to be able to take part the ABF ask their volunteers to raise a minimum of £1,500 toward their work, and so between now and October I’ll be asking friends and family for their help to hit this goal. Everything I raise will go directly to the ABF
If you want to donate please go here – Will’s Walk Fundraising page
I’ll be keeping a blog of my training, my fundraising and my planning here so if you follow along you can see just how a fat bloke tries desperately to get fit enough to take this challenge on