The Forces March 2017
Starting from Ilfracombe Seafront at 10am on Wednesday 24th May, sponsored walkers and runners will make their way along the 135+ mile route over 5, one-day stages. The undulating all-road route begins here in Ilfracombe and passes through glorious countryside in Exmoor, the Quantock Hills, rural Somerset and much of Salisbury Plain before finishing in Bulford, Wiltshire. Each stage will be at least 26.2 miles in length – that's five full marathons in five days! Runners – Walkers - Hand Cyclists - Teams & Individuals All funds raised will go to The Veterans Charity. Please support the marchers as they pass...
The History of ''The Forces March'
The Forces March is based on a march undertaken by men of the legendary Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during WWII.
Extract from 'PEGASUS BRIDGE' by Stephen E Ambrose
'In August of 1942, General Gale sent the whole regiment to Devonshire for two months of cliff climbing and other strenuous training. He then decided to march the regiment back to Bulford Camp - some 135 miles! Naturally it became a competition between the companies.
D Company got back to base on the evening of the fifth day, marching in at 145 steps to the minute and singing 'Onward Christian Soldiers', loudly. They came in first in the regiment by half a day! Major Howard had lost only two men out of 120. His stick however was so worn he had to throw it away.
Major Howard's D Company were later selected to spearhead the entire Allied invasion on D-Day. Thanks to their astounding fitness and training, the men achieved their almost impossible objective - to capture the legendary PEGASUS BRIDGE, in under 10 minutes.
Photographs reproduced by the kind permission of The Veterans Charity, North Devon Gazette, Events4Ilfracombe.