Meet local ex-serviceman, Martin Brewster.
He is just about to set off from his home in Chadlington to cycle to Paris, via London where he will join 300 other cyclists participating in the 4 day ride to the Arc de Triomphe. He is participating in The Royal British Legion's 15th annual "Pedal to Paris" bike ride.
The 55-year-old, who served for 25 years in the RAF, wants to raise as much as possible for the British Legion. He said: “I know the British Legion desperately needs the funding, and being ex-service, I sympathise with the cause of the injured servicemen and their families.
In France, the event will come to an end with a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Mr Brewster will return to London by train, and plans to cycle home from there. In total, the married father-of-one will cycle about 500 miles in six days.
In 2003 Martin also cycled to Paris to raise £1,500 to help the British Legion fund its work. He said: “Sadly, seven years on, due to the present action in Afghanistan, I see that the sacrifice of servicemen and women and the suffering of their families continues apparently unabated. This shows the continued importance of the work done by the Royal British Legion, which needs to raise about £75.5m each year to spend on its vital welfare work. Unfortunately, the need for the British Legion work grows almost daily, as we still see these reports of servicemen being killed in Afghanistan.”
Mr Brewster, who was a squadron leader, retired from RAF Benson in 1996. He had previously served at RAF Brize Norton (just across the road from us!), from 1992 until 1994.
The keen cyclist, who now works as an IT manager for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, has vowed to donate his month’s pension from the RAF of £800 towards the cause. This year he will be joined by Miss England, Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge and former England football manager Graham Taylor. Also joining in are Legion President, Sir John Kiszely and almost 300 other riders on the 4 day trip.
Martin hopes to raise a total of £2,010.
To help him raise just that little bit more, please visit www.bmycharity.com/martinbrewsterp2p2010,
call him on 07783 051087,
or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck Martin!!