THIS WEEK IN 1989: Soldiers abseil ‘Everest’ for charity

Sgt Jack Rafferty swings out over Portsmouth as he abseils down the side of the Allders department store for charity
Sgt Jack Rafferty swings out over Portsmouth as he abseils down the side of the Allders department store for charity

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Southsea beaches miss out on blue flag

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Soldiers from Territorial Army in Portsmouthgot roped-in for some charity fund-raising.

Twenty-five members of A Company 2nd Battalion Wessex Regiment

abseiled down the side of Allders department store, Commercial Road.

They hoped to raise £1,000 to buy ‘kangaroo’ pumps for the children’s ward at St Mary’s Hospital, Milton.

The Stanhope Road-based soldiers aimed to abseil down the building 417 times – the equivalent of descending all 29,028 feet of Mount Everest.

Company commander Major Julian Walker said the idea to raise money was inspired by one of the men.

He said: ‘Corporal Ray Barnes has just become a father and the baby needs special care because it was premature.

‘The company usually supports one charity each year and we thought it would be particularly appropriate if we helped buy special equipment for St Mary’s children’s ward,’ he added.

‘Kangaroo’ pumps were used on babies and young children when they could not feed properly – pumping food through tubes into the digestive system.

The pumps could be used at home meaning babies could leave hospital much earlier.