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King’s Lynn Runners take part in Commemorative Somme Poppy event





A combined group from Lynn parkrun and members of the Globe Trotters running group made the pilgrimage to the Somme area of France, to take part in the annual Somme Poppy Run.

The run follows a route through the former ‘no man’s land’ separating the British Army from the Germans and which was the scene of so much death and destruction, through the long period of the battle.

The group, who meet each Saturday for parkrun in the Walks and Sunday mornings for the Globe Trotters, took little persuading to take part, although the nature of the terrain did take them a little by surprise.

Lynn runners in France, from left (back): Cheryl Brown, James Hornigold, Rod Wood, Tammy Mounsey, Judith Berry, Ash Brown, Lauren Kirby, Brad Melville, Gary Walker, Andy Hardy, Julie Williamson, Justin Walker, Mick Ennis, James Munson, Graham Spark; (front) Suzanne Pembery, Leo Munson, Lucy McDowie, Lisa Austin, Justin Gray, Matt Hitchcock, LeahCrawford, David Grimes, Erin McNeil and Mike Pembery.
Lynn runners in France, from left (back): Cheryl Brown, James Hornigold, Rod Wood, Tammy Mounsey, Judith Berry, Ash Brown, Lauren Kirby, Brad Melville, Gary Walker, Andy Hardy, Julie Williamson, Justin Walker, Mick Ennis, James Munson, Graham Spark; (front) Suzanne Pembery, Leo Munson, Lucy McDowie, Lisa Austin, Justin Gray, Matt Hitchcock, LeahCrawford, David Grimes, Erin McNeil and Mike Pembery.

Far from being the flat French countryside that many expected, it is quite undulating and tackling the steeper slopes in the extremely hot summer conditions was not easy.

The thought of running up the hills was, however, tempered by the memory of the British soldiers, tackling the same slopes in very similar weather conditions, each of whom would have been loaded with more than 60lbs of equipment and who, all of the time, were being shot at.

The run finished at the magnificent Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, which contains the names of over 72,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers from the battle who have no known grave.

The group laid a wreath on behalf of Lynn parkrun, to commemorate those who died in the battle, several of whom were from the town.

Group organiser Gary Walker said: “It was fitting that we should commemorate those who fought and died for us on the Somme, in particular those from this area who answered the call to arms but who were never to return.”

The run was also part of a fund-raising event for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Anyone wishing to donate can do so here.



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