Marine's friends in 14-mile fundraiser

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

FRIENDS and teachers of a Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan are walking 14 miles to honour his memory and raise £1,000 for charity.

On Saturday, 30 teachers and their colleagues at South Downs College will walk from Thorney Island in Emsworth to the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney.

The event is in memory of Mne Richard Hollington, who was the 300th British serviceman to die in the conflict.

The 23-year-old from Petersfield who was a former student at South Downs College in Waterlooville, was serving with 40 Commando when he was wounded by a roadside bomb blast in Sangin in June last year.

He later died of his wounds in New Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Since his death, family and friends have raised more than 50,000 for charity through various events.

Learning support assistant Andy Chalmers, who has helped organise the event for Help for Heroes, said: 'It should be quite tough, especially if the weather isn't good.

'It's a good fundraising event to honour this young man who used to be a student here at the college.

'Some staff and students have been in training ready for it.

'The route lends itself to some nice photos so we won't be rushing along if the weather is good. If it's wet and miserable we'll get our heads down.

'We hope to do it within eight hours because the light will fade.'

Mne Hollington's father Robin praised the fundraising efforts.

He said: 'We're standing at about 58,200 and money keeps coming in from unexpected sources.

'The fact more and more people are doing more and more to raise money and doing more and more varied things is greatly appreciated.'

Mr Hollington said he hoped the fundraising coffers would reach 60,000 by the end of the month and he aimed to reveal in the near future how the money would be spent.

The charity walk will set off from Thorney Island at 8.30am on Saturday.

The target is to raise 1,000. Online donations can be made at justgiving.com/andrew-chalmers0.