Legio Secunda Augusta - Ex Barbarian Stomp ?


Book Reviewer
By Emma Foster, Community Newswire

A group of service men and women from the Army and Royal Navy have today embarked on an 84-mile march across Hadrian's Wall dressed as Roman Centurion warriors, in a bid to raise funds for their wounded colleagues.

The squad started at the Gateway to Hadrian's Wall in Bowness on Solway this morning and they hope to cover 20 miles on the first day and average 12-15 miles on the following days, finishing at Tynemouth on Saturday. They will camp at a number of locations on the route.

The Barbarian Stomp will raise money for Help for Heroes, a charity that provides practical direct support to those servicemen and women wounded in the line of duty in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Help for Heroes also supports the other service charities such as the Army Benevolent Fund.

Both the Army and Navy groups were considering the same fundraising idea without each other's knowledge and were brought together by David Richardson from the Portsmouth-based Roman re-enactment group Legio Secunda Augusta when they were researching costumes.

Eight of the Navy Centurions are from the Base Logistics Department at Portsmouth Naval Base, led by Leading Logistics Rating Derek Thompson. They will be marching as fourth century centurions from the Classis Britannicus squad.

Derek, who originally had the idea for the event three years ago, said: "Our colleagues in the Armed Forces currently deployed operationally in Afghanistan are going through significant challenges in a much more arduous environment than we will face over the next five days, but this is our way of honouring and supporting their commitment and service.

"I do hope the public will support us in our fundraising efforts as we travel across the country on Hadrian's Wall."

Base Logistics Commander Dave Noyes, said: "I'm 100% behind the teams, not only is Barbarian Stomp raising funds for a great cause, but the Army Benevolent Charities will also benefit from this innovative fundraising challenge.

"An 84 mile hike cross country in a demanding timescale will need them to dig deep on their energy reserves, test their stamina and provides excellent adventurous training developing leadership ability under pressure, valuable virtues for members of the Armed Forces."

The Army team of eight will be led by Warrant Officer Carl Cooper from 159 Supply Regiment drawing on support from six members of The Royal Logistic Corps Volunteers. The Army will be marching as 1st century AD Romans.

Carl said: "As far as I'm aware this has never been done before by members of the Armed Forces in original Roman costume, but I have to admit we won't be wearing Roman style sandals. The terrain is rough so we will be wearing proper hiking boots to provide ankle support and prevent injury.

"Weather could make things more arduous but if it gets really wet we'll deploy the Navy ahead of the Army!"

The Naval Base's dental nurse Alyssia van-Linton, 38, is a member of re-enactment group Legio Secunda, and is taking part in the challenge. She spends several weekends a year taking part in combat re-enactments all over the UK and has trained others for stage combat, stunt fighting and film work, appearing as Achillea and Amazonia in stage productions.

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