AN EX-SERVICEMAN who last year made a timely trek in tribute to injured soldiers is to repeat his feat – in the opposite direction. Nigel Hosking made his way from Winchester to Romsey on Armistice Day last year setting off at the minute’s silence. Now a year on, ex-Royal Green Jacket rifleman Nigel will set off from Romsey on Sunday, November 11, aiming to get to Winchester in time for the Two Minutes’ Silence as the nation remembers its war dead at 11am. The 53-year-old’s challenge, entitled “Romsey 2 Winchester 4 Riflemen – The Return Journey”, will see him “route march” – a mixture of jogging and walking – the 11 miles in military kit to raise cash for The Rifles Care for Casualties Appeal. He did the original challenge because it was the 11th hour of the 11th month of 2011. Since then, the father-of-five has held a karate course fund-raiser, handing over £615 to the charity. But the prison officer, of Boyatt Wood, said he had been inspired to do the fund-raiser again having met a soldier who had lost both legs when he was in Winchester this summer. “I’m doing it because I can and I’m doing it for those who can’t,” said Nigel. “They [injured soldiers] have had that option taken away from them through doing their job. These men are sadly put in this position and it’s not just what has happened to them, it’s the mental side of it. I can’t comprehend it.” Nigel added that Remembrance Day was particularly significant this year because it falls on the same day as Armistice Day. He said the silence had particular poignancy for him as a former soldier. “I think it’s important to everyone,” he said. “It’s a point in the day where whatever people are doing, that’s where our focus of attention is. That’s the time when the nation remembers.” Despite keyhole surgery on his knee earlier this year, Nigel, a former Hampshire Ambulance Service paramedic of more than 20 years, is confident he can achieve the feat in the time given, leaving Romsey Town Hall around 8.30am. Now he is hoping people will get behind his challenge and is looking for companies to sponsor him. The Rifles Care for Casualties Appeal helps soldiers injured in military operations and provides family support and help with funerals. Nigel, who served with the Royal Green Jackets in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Gibraltar in the mid-1970s, said although people heard about the British soldier fatalities in Afghanistan, the public was not so aware of those that return with trauma or serious and, in some cases, life- changing, injuries. To sponsor Nigel, or find out more, call 07971 634216 or click here.
Comments are closed on this article.