D-Day 80: Veterans and military personnel cycling from Poole to Hayling Island to honour fallen soldiers

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Dedicated veterans and military personnel are taking on an epic one-day cycle challenge to honour those who took part in the Normandy landings.

A team of eight former personnel and eight current service personnel will be traveling 80 miles from Poole to Hayling Island in just 24 hours. This is to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6. Money is being raised for veterans charity The Not Forgotten, an organisation which supports injured ex-personnel.

The 80 for 80 team contains individuals associated with the Royal Navy, British Army and RAF - some of whom have physical and mental injuries. One of the team members is completing the journey on a hand cycle, while others are overcoming severe mental and physical barriers to take part.

A team of 16 veterans and military personnel will be cycling from Poole to Hayling Island in one day to honour those who took part in D-Day.A team of 16 veterans and military personnel will be cycling from Poole to Hayling Island in one day to honour those who took part in D-Day.
A team of 16 veterans and military personnel will be cycling from Poole to Hayling Island in one day to honour those who took part in D-Day. | Contributed

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After paying their respects at the D-Day Memorial on the Quayside in Poole, Dorset, they will cycle from 8am into the New Forest via Bournemouth and Christchurch, aiming to reach the RAF Memorial at Beaulieu by 10am. Another short wreath laying ceremony will take place, and the cyclist will aim to reach Hythe by 1pm before crossing to Southampton by ferry.

They will then visit HMS Collingwood in Newgate Lane, Fareham, where groups of former and serving personal are planning to give them a rousing welcome. They will then travel to Hayling Island via Havant, crossing the finish line at roughly 5pm to crowds of people gathering for the D-Day events including a sunset ceremony and the lighting of the beacon.

A total of £3,285 has been raised at the time of writing. Donations can be made via JustGiving. Further details can be found on The Not Forgotten website.

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