1700km down France

Giles Nevill has set himself an epic challenge once again in support of VWD - this time by riding 1700km down through France following the route his Great Uncle undertook in 1940
 
"1700 Km Cycle Ride down France in support of Veterans with Dogs and in memory of my Great Uncle..... It is 80 years ago, this year, that Uncle Ron completed his epic escape from the Germans and in recognition of this extraordinary feat, I plan to retrace the route that Uncle Ron took by cycling approx 130 Km (80 miles) per day for two weeks - I have a copy of his escape diary and the route he followed (a great read, which I will share later).  While his actual route was some 1500 km as can be seen from the map below, I am planning to complete an extra 200 km by visiting St Valery (where he was captured), Baron-sur-Odon (where he was killed) and Hottot-les-Bagues in Normandy (where he is buried).  Appropriately, during my trip, the nation will also be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the end of WWII (VE Day) on the 8th May."
 
 
brig.jpg RONNIE MACKINTOSH-WALKER was born on the 9th April 1898.  He joined his Regiment, The Seaforth Highlanders, at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, aged 18.  By the age of 19, he had been awarded three Military Crosses for exceptional courage and bravery in the face of the enemy – a truly extraordinary and unique achievement. (A Military Cross is one medal down from a Victoria Cross for bravery). He survived WWI.  At the start of WWII, he was captured at St Valery along with the whole of the Highland Division shortly after the evacuation from Dunkirk in June 1940.  However, as they were being marched across northern France to the German POW camps, Uncle Ron escaped near Lille and then cycled the whole way down France to Marseilles before crossing over the Pyrenees into Spain and returning home to Britain and Scotland via Portugal. 
 
In 1944, as a Brigadier, he commanded 227 Highland Brigade on the breakout from the Normandy beaches shortly after D Day.  In some of the fiercest fighting to capture the high ground at Côte 112, he was killed on the 16th July 1944, aged 46, at Baron-sur-Odon; one of the most senior officers to be killed in action in WWII.  He was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Service Order, DSO, for exceptional leadership.  He is buried in the CWGC at Hottot-Les-Bagues in Normandy.  RIP.
brig2.jpg

" This will be a seriously demanding challenge under any circumstances, let alone for someone in the wrong half of my 50s!!  It is however a challenge worthy of my Great Uncle and I hope that you will be kind enough to support me and Veterans With Dogs in this endeavour.  "

Please click on the following link to donate :-  Thank You

GILES NEVILL CYCLE

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