Cycling across the Western Front to remember fallen heroes - The Solihull Observer

Cycling across the Western Front to remember fallen heroes

Solihull Editorial 17th Apr, 2014 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016   0

A FIREFIGHTER and Policeman are preparing to get on their bikes for a mammoth cycle ride in aid of an Armed Forces charity.

Kevin Fitzgerald and Stuart Rawlings will pedal 350 miles over eight days from June 1 through northern France to raise funds for Help for Heroes.

The duo have signed up for the Big Battlefield Bike Ride which takes them from Brussels to Paris following the lines of the World War One Western Front to commemorate 100 years since the start of the war.

They will be stopping at battlefields such as Ypres and Thiepval, a site which was at the the heart of the Battle of the Somme, to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice then and still do today.

After reaching Paris they will travel to London and cycle to the finish line at the Cenotaph on June 8 and lay a wreath.

This is the second time Kevin, a Solihull firefighter and ex-solider, will take on the challenge and the first time for Stuart.

Last year Kevin raised £7,500 for the charity with his brother-in-law and he decided to do it again as he got the chance to give something back to injured soldiers and to help with their rehabilitation when they get life-changing injuries.

He said: “Last year’s cycle wasn’t so long after Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich and the home straight was lined with people supporting us.

“My skin went all tingly and my hair stood on end when I was cycling along the supporters made it all the more special crossing the finish line.”

So far the 42-year-old has raised more than £2,500 for this year’s bike ride through car washes at the fire station and a curry night.

For the pair’s next fundraising event they will be cycling on static bikes at Birmingham Airport on Saturday, April 18.

Then a few weeks before they head to Brussels on Saturday May 17, they are hosting a charity camping event at Mousley House Farm in Hatton.

As well as sleeping under the stars campers can look forward to live music, a disco, bouncy castle and food.

Tickets cost £20 per tent or caravan and are available by calling 07891 558607.

For more or to donate visit

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