A leading military charity, Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) past through Henley on Monday on their sixth expedition which will see them walk 10 marathons over 12 days.
The expedition, The Grenadier Walk of Oman, of which The Duke of Sussex is the Expedition Patron will see 5 ex-military and 1 current serviceman, all with mental or physical wounds, will walk in stages from Pen-Y-Fan in Wales to the Anglo Omani Society in London.
The team were due to cross the Omani desert, however, due to the global pandemic, they are now going to cross the UK, to raise funds and awareness for Walking With The Wounded’s employment, mental health, care coordination and volunteering programmes supporting veterans and their families to get back on their feet and contribute in their communities once more.
On Monday they were walking from Shiplake to Henley-on-Thames, Aston, Bourne End and Dorney Reach before finishing the day at Windsor Castle.
The expedition started on Pen-Y-Fan in Wales, the 6-man team then walked through Hereford (home of the Special Air Service ‘SAS’) and will walk through Gloucestershire before arriving at the start of the infamous Thames path- a long distance walking trail that follows the river Thames from its source in the Cotswolds before arriving in the heart of London and finishing at the Anglo Omani Society in London. The team will be supported by a Grenadier vehicle for parts of the route. Due to various physical injuries, some team members will only be able to walk part of the route – overcoming their individual situations to achieve what they can.
The team stopped off at Leander Club in Henley. Brian O’Neil, from The Grenadier Walk of Oman team, said, “Henley is an iconic location on the Thames and felt like a gateway for the final few legs to London. It’s great to know that Leander Club is in the hands of a fellow veteran (Al Heathcote) and we appreciated the warm welcome and the hippo.”
WWTW’s CEO, Fergus Williams, said: “Although the expedition is now taking place in the UK, the team are walking up to 400km, which is no easy feat. We are looking forward to supporting them as they put their hard work to the test and walk to demonstrate that those who serve or served can overcome adversity.”
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, said, “The team at Walking With The Wounded understand that it’s not about where you walk — it’s about walking together with a common purpose and shared mission. These men and women know what service is, they’ve seen and overcome adversity, and they won’t let obstacles get in their way. They are paragons of inspiration for communities everywhere. We wish them good luck and good weather.”