Walk for Royal Anglians charity comes to town

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THE fourth All The 4s walk in aid of the Royal Anglian Benevolent Charity will be coming to Bury St Edmunds in August as the mother of one soldier killed i naction in Afghanistan spearheads a 10 -ay walk through four counties.

Christine Bonner lost her son Cpl Darren Bonner in May 2007 and has been organising walks since 2008 to commemorate his memory and those of other fallen comrades.

One of the regiment’s finest was Copl Adam Drane, from Stanningfield, who lost his life after being gunned down at a checkpoint in Helmand province and who was the 100th soldier to die in 2009. He was serving as a section second in command with the 1st Battalion of the regiment, the Vikings.

The walk is asking members of the public to join them along the way as well as anyone wanting to complete the whole 150 miles. It will be carried out in legs of 10-16 miles each day.

Major Mick Abbs, who is based in Bury, the regimental home of the Royal Anglians, will also be walking with Christine.

He said: “Since 1964 my regiment has lost 79 soldiers, killed on duty in Aden, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. We have lost 18 soldiers in the past five years alone – 14 killed in action in Afghanistan.”

Five members of the Vikings died on last year’s tour of duty there.

Major Abbs added: “I served with Darren Bonner and have been inspired by this cause and in particular by the endless enthusiasm and dedication displayed by Chris.”

Christine said: “Sadly nothing can ever bring my boy back, but I have to do something positive in the light of this absolutely horrific tragedy. It’s my time to ‘Walk with my Darren’.”

All The 4s will set off from Scunthorpe on Friday August 12, and walk through Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex, finishing at Southend on August 21. They will be walking through Troston and Flempton to arrive at the TA Centre in Bury at midday on August 19.

Meanwhile, members of the regiment’s Third Battalion will walk the length of the United Nations buffer zone in Cyprus carrying their own equipment over 150 miles in temperatures of 40C.

To sign up for the walk and donate you can go to www.allthe4s.co.uk

The Royal Anglian Benevolent Charity has made grants of £105,000 over the past year to more than 250 individuals and families. Cases vary from assistance to soldiers on operations in Afghanistan to helping World War Two veterans and their families.

Those helped include a private whose child had died and the family were struggling to meet the cost of the funeral and headstone while a Lance Corporal with incurable cancer was flown to Germany to say goodbye to his colleagues.