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Chris set for 'Frontline Walk' for charity

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead

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MarpleChris PriceBritish ArmySponsored WalkArmy Benevolent Fund

Chris Price, left, with a Chelsea Pensioner

Marple resident Chris Price, who served 20 years in the British Army as a Royal Military Policeman, is to take part in the inspiring charity event, the Frontline Walk. 

This is a sponsored walk through France and Belgium of all the major battlefields of WWI Western Front, where wreaths are laid in memory of the fallen at the countless War Grave Commission cemeteries. The walk is an incredible 100 kilometres and stretches over three days. 

This inspirational charity event is being held from 5th until the 8th of October and will raise funds for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF which was established in 1944, with the aim to support soldiers, veterans and their families and dependents during times of need. The funds generated go towards providing various aspects of assistance, from the purchasing of prosthetic limbs to helping veterans and soldiers suffering with mental health issues. 

Chris Price

2017 marks the 101-year anniversary of the Battle of Somme. By the end of the battle, the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties. The Frontline Walk starts at the Lochnagar Crater, a huge 30-metre-deep and 100-metre-wide crater, which was the location of a 60,000lb underground explosive that started the Battle of Somme. The walk will finish three days later at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres, Belgium. 

49-year-old Chris served on combat operations in both the Gulf Wars of 1990 and 2004, he also served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, with further tours in Germany, Cyprus, Central America and the UK. 

He told the Marple Review how, like many others, he has suffered quite badly with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder caused by stressful, frightening or distressing events, as a direct result of his service on hostile operations. 

Chris says he is only too aware of the valuable work the ABF does to help servicemen who return home, in many cases suffering the effects of battle for many years to come. 

“I am very proud of my military service, and in giving my support to this charity I am able to provide help to others who suffer with great dignity, but are in dire need of your valuable support,” he said.

What is effectively a ‘hidden illness’, it is estimated that for every soldier who returns from conflict with physical injuries, there are many more who suffer from mental illness as a result of their service. In many cases, this mental illness stays with a soldier for the rest of their life. The ABF aims to address and raise awareness of the mental health problems many soldiers and veterans are left with and provide the valuable support such individuals and their families need. 

Chris’ goal, in completing the Frontline Walk, is to have raised £2000 for the Army Benevolent Fund. 

“With the generosity of many people I hope to not only hit this target, but exceed it. I am taking part in the event as part of a team with two other former military colleagues and close friends,” Chris told us.

If you are interested in seeing updates about this inspiring event you can follow him on Twitter at @rugbyrelic67. 

All donations for this remarkable fund can be made on his Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ChrisPrice-FL2017