Expedition PYRENEES 2011 in Support of Help for Heroes


Book Reviewer

DATES ARE 14 - 27 MAY 2011


Help for Heroes (H4H) Event ID: 20100702-3586-8438

Expedition Pyrenees 2011 is the first, of hopefully many, annual Expeditions in support of Help for Heroes. An on road challenge from a designated place in the UK terminating in the Pyrenees. The total distance from UK to the Pyrenees will be approximately 1,750 miles.

The expedition is a Gran Turismo (GT) - a motoring game based on the original road rallies of the 1950’s. It is designed for complete beginners to learn the art of regularity driving. Participants are encouraged to raise their own sponsorship for the event, which aims to raise over £50,000 for Help for Heroes.

The teams will be set tasks and questions on the way through France, Spain and Andorra; following a point to point route via GPS with area mapping to find the answers. Transport, Regularity, Jogularity, Scatter, Treasure Hunt and special Evasion stages will be applied to various sections of the expedition; these will all be clearly explained during the event, although background information may be found on the event forum:


The theme is based on the escape and evasion of servicemen and women during the Second World War. We will be looking for the ‘Le Chemin de la Liberté’, the ‘Path to Freedom’, WWII escape route to Spain through the Pyrenees. This route was taken by hundreds of Frenchmen and Jews fleeing from their German oppressors. In addition it was used by many R.A.F. and American airmen who had either crash-landed or parachuted to safety after being shot down over Nazi-occupied Europe. We will also visit other escape routes through France and across the Pyrenees into Spain and Andorra (the Comete and PAT Lines).

En route to the Pyrenees we will stay over and visit the village Oradour-sur-Glane, where in 1944 an SS troop went in and massacred the whole village, over 600 inhabitants including women and children. The village has been left untouched since then as a memorial to the people who lost their lives.

We will also be visiting the S.O.E Memorial at Valancay at 10:00 hours on Monday, 16 May 2011, where we intend to lay a wreath on behalf of the event.



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Places are filling up quickly so please register if you are interested.


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Bit late posting this so my apologies.......a lot of Arrsers will already have seen this but I'm aiming at those who may not.

Over the past year, I've seen a few posts on here having a pop at H4H and met a few people face to face ditto. Good for them - go for it.

But having been on the first Battlefield Bike Ride, worked at Headley Court and swum in the pool built with the funds which were raised I take much of it with a shrug.

H4H aren't perfect - but they do pretty much what it says on the tin, as far as I can make out. Anyway, for all those who ever bought a wrist band or put a quid in a tin:

In the summer of 2007, Emma and I were invited to visit ward S4 at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham. We had no idea what to expect, we had never been to a ward with military casualties before, our experience of hospitals was based on visiting Granny; this was different. Ideas of seeing plucky soldiers in rows, tucked up under blankets with hospital corners, an image formed from countless movies, was replaced with reality. Bays of blokes, wearing T shirts, some supporting the favourite football team, balloons, mums, dads and girlfriends, terrible injuries, shock, anger, determination.

We met many that day, all have their story, all equally important. One was Derek, a rugby player who has lost his legs, a big Fijian, legs off above the knee, neck in a brace, only able to move his eyes, his wife Anna beside the bed, holding his hand.

Derek was in a vehicle that backed onto an IED. The blast took one leg, leaving the other to be amputated. On the operating table, Derek died. Someone was sent to tell his commanding officer that the OR team had done all they could.

Derek remembers leaving his body and praying to God, saying that if there was something he could do, let him live, if not, let him go on.

The OR team found a pulse as they were putting Derek in a body bag. Derek lives and is the top sitting shot putter in the UK, fifth in the world, with his sights set on the 2012 Para Olympics; he has faith.

I was with a Mum last year, her son had lost his legs. I asked how how she was, she said she was fine. You are not fine, I replied, your son has lost his legs; you are not fine.

The next day, feeling helpless and inadequate, I wrote to her. You are not fine, your son has lost his legs; life is grim. Life is grim, he is not going to get his legs back, but, this time next year, I wrote, he will be skiing, sailing, rebuilding. This time next year he will be smiling, looking forward, he might even be laughing. Life will not be what it was but it will be better; there is hope.

Hundreds of thousands of people in this country have decided to do something to support those wounded while serving. People have decided to do their bit, to commit to doing something to support the blokes. Some contributions are small, some massive, all equally important. We all feel inadequate, helpless, but we are doing what we can and we are making a difference.

Over £80m has been raised to date, raised by ordinary decent people, to support some ordinary decent blokes who just want a chance at a normal life. That is wonderful and inspirational. We may not have Derek's faith, that's not the point, but there is hope and together we have created an amazing charity; thank you.

Thanks everyone and keep going.

Happy Christmas.


Good on you Diplomat.....keep up the good work that person :)

Don Cabra

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