On Saturday 9th June, members of The Baton Run of Remembrance began their incredible journey, running 110 miles from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, to the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire.
This year was the 10th anniversary and, in keeping with their tradition, they began the challenge from the ramp of a C-17 aircraft, of No. 99 Squadron. This is important to the meaning behind The Baton, as the baton itself is made from the handle of a stretcher used in Afghanistan and the C-17 is used in most military aeromed and repatriations flights back to the UK. The Baton was originally set up to help raise awareness of military life, and to offer gratitude to all personnel who have served in the Armed Forces, but the charity has grown and through money raised they are now able to donate to other military causes.
The team were welcomed to the Station by Wing Commander Al Scott, Officer Commanding No. 10 Squadron, who marked the start of the run.
“To start the run from inside an C-17 aircraft, of 99 Squadron, that amongst other duties brings home wounded and repatriations to family and friends is the most apt place. The purpose of The Baton is to raise and maintain awareness, within society, of life in the Armed Forces and to offer support to service families”
The Baton founder
“I am very pleased that RAF Brize Norton is able to continue what has become a long running association with the Baton Run of Remembrance. Starting the run from a C17 helps maintain a connection with an aircraft which holds such a strong link to the Baton Run’s cause.”
Wing Commander Al Scott
Officer Commanding No. 10 Squadron
After leaving the Station the team ran to the Repatriation Memorial Garden in Carterton to lay a Baton wreath, this year Victoria Gilmartin and Lara Stead laid their wreath followed by a minute’s silence.
The run into the National Memorial Arboretum was supported by many friends and family who were waiting along with two Royal Marine Buglers who played ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ with a minute’s silence in between.
“This year I explained what the team had been carrying and read the Baton’s Message, to do this in such a special place with the right people around me I have to admit it was an emotional and unforgettable moment.”
The Baton founder
For more information about supporting The Baton take a look at http://www.thebaton.co.uk/