A FAMILY remembered their grandfather on the first anniversary of his death by completing a cycling challenge.
Caroline Northmore, 24, saddled up with her boyfriend Mike Jenkins, 27, and her brother Dom, 28, and pedalled from London to Devon in aid of Blind Veterans UK. They have raised nearly £1,500 for the charity so far.
Setting off from Mitcham Junction Station in the capital, the trio arrived in Luppitt five days and 320 miles later.
Caroline was inspired by her grandfather, Morris Lashbrook, who died in July 2015, aged 99.
Before he joined the army, a 14-year-old Morris ran away from his home in London to cycle back to Devon, where he had lived with his mother before her death.
Luckily Caroline, Mike and Dom made it all the way, whereas Morris was caught by a police officer in Brighton.
Morris served a number of roles in the army over 25 years, and received support from Blind Veterans UK when he lost his sight in 2008.
Southsea student Caroline said: ‘My grandad was an incredible man, a true gentleman, loyal, kind, generous, and unbelievably strong.
‘His determination and the support he received from Blind Veterans UK to help him keep his independence is why we wanted to do this cycle. It means a lot to our entire family to give something back for the years of support from such a great charity.’
The trio were encouraged by family during their trek, with Caroline and Dom’s mother Patricia joining them for the second leg from Brighton to the New Forest.
Dom’s wife Rachel also joined for two days after Caroline suffered a knee injury.
The team finally arrived at Luppitt Village Hall on the fifth day, and celebrated with a well-earned cream tea.
Caroline said: ‘We all felt shattered but incredibly proud. The cycle proved to us that it’s not just about your physical abilities but also your mentality, how you go about in life, which we learned from our grandfather.’
Caroline is still determined to go the full distance, returning with mum Patricia to cycle the leg she missed on August 12.
To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/Morris-Lashbrook