Hundreds turn out for poignant charity walk

HISTORY HMS Victory in the pouring rain made an attractive backdrop for the last of the walkers.  Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113828-4292)
HISTORY HMS Victory in the pouring rain made an attractive backdrop for the last of the walkers. Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113828-4292)
HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

RICK JACKSON: The patriotism inspired by HMS Queen Elizabeth is wonderful

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AFTER Emma Nordkvelle-Combs’ late husband died from a brain tumour, she was determined to honour him in a special way.

So the 38-year-old joined hundreds of walkers at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a stroll in memory of past loved ones last night.

UGLY Lots of children wanted their picture taken with The Ugly Sisters from Cinderella - the 2011 Christmas pantomime at The Kings Theatre.  (113828-4075)

UGLY Lots of children wanted their picture taken with The Ugly Sisters from Cinderella - the 2011 Christmas pantomime at The Kings Theatre. (113828-4075)

Emma, whose husband Andy, 36, died six weeks ago in the care of The Rowans Hospice, as previously reported, walked a mile and a half of the Royal Navy base for The Hospice’s Moonlight Memories Meander.

More than 500 children and their families took part and put paper stars on a moonlit memories board in tribute to those who had passed away.

At the end of the walk medals and meals were dished out to participants.

Emma, from Exmouth Road, Gosport, who was joined by her three children Kristy, ten, Martin, seven, and Helena, five, said: ‘Taking part in this meant the world to us.

‘Even though Andy died six weeks ago, we know he was looking down on us and feeling so proud that we had done this for him.’

Tilly Mae, 10, from Brookside Road, Bedhampton, was one of the first to finish the poignant walk with dad Dean Moret, aged 52.

The pair took part in memory of family friend Jan Duke, 56, who passed away two years ago in the care of the hospice.

Dean said: ‘It was a fantastic evening but it was very emotional, especially because there have been so many children taking part in honour of those in their lives who have died.

‘The walk is for a fantastic cause, The Rowans does a lot of great work and the community is showing how much they appreciate it.’

Portsmouth City Band belted out numbers for the army of walkers, who paid £5 to take part.

It is predicted more than £20,000 was raised in aid of The Rowans.

Susan Neville, 59, from Hayling Island, took part in memory of her husband Philip, 62, who died from cancer earlier this year.

Susan, who brought along her granddaughter Danielle, aged seven, said: ‘This is my way of thanking the hospice for the contact and support they gave the family.

‘It’s such a worthy cause and I’m sure Philip would be really proud we did this for him.’

Amanda Mahoney, events fundraiser for The Rowans Hospice, said: ‘The atmosphere was absolutely amazing.

‘Events like this are really important to us and help to highlight our work to the community.

‘It’s been really lovely seeing everyone enjoying themselves despite the bad weather.’