From Somme to Ypres: Keith’s 100km trek

Army veteran Keith Sharp, 59.
Army veteran Keith Sharp, 59.

An army veteran followed in the footsteps of thousands of fallen soldiers and walked across the Western Front from France to Belgium.

Keith Sharp, of Alverthorpe, trekked more than 60 miles from the Lochnagar Crater in northern France to the Menin Gates in Ypres to raise money for charity.

The veteran, who served in the British Army as part of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 18 years, took on the 100km Frontline Walk last month in memory of his uncle, Stanley Sharp, who died in Holland in the Second World War.

Mr Sharp, 59, said: “I have always wanted to pay my respects to the brave actions of the soldiers of the Great War and to set myself a challenge because it’s close to me as well.

“It’s a big achievement to complete it, especially at my age.

“It was very tiring but I would do it all over again.

He was one of around 60 walkers on the journey in October who were all raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Mr Sharp visited dozens of First World War memorials along the way and walkers stopped to pay their respects.

He added: “It was extremely moving, especially passing through the Menin Gates in Ypres at the end.

“The other walkers were from all walks of life, some were army, navy and RAF and some were civilians.

“We all started the journey as strangers, walked as comrades and departed as friends.”

So far he has raised a total of £1,213 for the charity as part of the challenge.

A medic team were on standby to support walkers during their journey.

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