Great War enthusiast to embark on 100K hike dressed as a Tommy

13 December 2013 16:30

A Great War enthusiast and historical re-enactor plans to tackle a mammoth 100K London to Brighton walk dressed in the full army kit of First World War Officer. All in aid of Blind Veterans UK.

Ian Houghton, 52, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, has always had a keen interest in military history, not least because his Great-Great Uncle and a distant cousin of his both served during the First World War.

Born with Spina Bifida, the walk will be the furthest Ian has ever walked, made all the more challenging given the 42lbs (20kgs) weight of the original 1923 Officer's Pattern uniform he will wear. The kit is identical to those worn by Officers in the Great War.

Ian, who has no formal military service, says: "Apart from the personal challenge side of it - born with Spina Bifida and having never walked this far before - I'm a World War One living history enthusiast, better known by my tag 'Tommy 14/18'. Since 2014 will be the centenary I intend to take part in Blind Veterans UK's 100K walk in World War One kit and will hopefully be joined by a couple of fellow enthusiasts. Taking part will be partly about remembering my relatives who served and died in the Great War, as well as all those others who have sacrificed so much over the years for us."

Taking place over the weekend of Saturday 21 June and Sunday 22 June 2014, our 100K London to Brighton trek takes walkers from south London, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs, and ends at the charity's centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.

Ian says: "I aiming to do the walk in under 24hrs. I'm walking for all the brave service personnel throughout the ages who have sacrificed so much for our safety and way of life. It made a lot of sense to do something that supports Blind Veterans UK given that it is a charity which was a direct result of the Great War and helped some of its casualties a great deal".

We still have places for the 100K walk 2014. Taking place over the weekend o fSaturday 21 and Sunday 22 June 2014, the cost of a space is £99 per person or £120 per relay team. The charity is also introducing two man relay teams so that for the first time people will be able to take part in twos and walking 50km of the trek each.

The all-inclusive entrance fee for participants includes hot food at three rest stops, snacks and refreshments along the route, first aiders en route as well as a free event t-shirt.

Find out more or sign up for Blind Veterans UK's London to Brighton walk, or support Ian as he tackles Blind Veterans UK's 100K walk.