Wales

Welsh soldiers' Poppy Appeal speed march from Cardiff

A team of Welsh soldiers have set off from Cardiff on a gruelling speed march to London, as they raise cash for this year's Poppy Appeal.

The five members of 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh will join colleagues from the other armed forces at Wootton Bassett, before continuing the march.

They will also deliver a book of remembrance to the Royal Albert Hall on Remembrance Day.

The March for Honour teams will cover 1,000 miles over the next eight days.

"The march provides an opportunity to thank the Royal British Legion, raise vital funds and make the public aware of the brilliant work they do," said L/Cpl Ram Patten of Royal Marines Commando, who is behind the idea.

"Having served in Afghanistan, I truly appreciate the support the legion provided to me and my family."

The Welsh team of soldiers set off from Cardiff Castle just after 1120 GMT on Thursday, before making their way to Newport, Bristol, Gloucester and then on to Wootton Bassett.

The war memorial in the Wiltshire town has become a focal point for those remembering the armed forces, as those servicemen and women killed during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts pass through the centre after being repatriated to nearby RAF Lyneham.

Rehabilitation work

It is in the town that the Royal Welsh soldiers will join three other teams from the RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

One of the patrons of March for Honour is the former Welsh Guardsman, Simon Weston, who said: "A march to honour the fallen in our current violent and troubled times: to support our friends and loved ones so prepared to fight for the rights of deserving causes makes me feel proud to be an ex soldier and connected with such an event.

"From the moment I became aware of the March for Honour, with all of the armed forces involvement, I swore to do all I could to show my support for the message and purpose behind it."

The campaign has also been backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who met members of the project in September.

The Royal British Legion's director of national events, Russell Thompson, added: "March For Honour encapsulates what we are all about.

"The funds raised from March For Honour and the 2010 Poppy Appeal will fund our vital welfare and rehabilitation work for the Armed Forces community."

The legion said it spent more than £1.4m every week in its work, and recently committed £12m to a new centre to help rehabilitate injured and wounded service personnel.

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