Military challenge worthwhile

A SUFFOLK policeman is still recovering from his aching bones and swollen joints today after taking on a military challenge in a foreign land.Assistant Sector Officer (ASO) Mick Hardman who is based at Capel St Mary trekked across Holland in full World War II uniform and carrying weapons to mark the anniversary of the Arnhem landings and operation Market Garden in September 1944.

A SUFFOLK policeman is still recovering from his aching bones and swollen joints today after taking on a military challenge in a foreign land.

Assistant Sector Officer (ASO) Mick Hardman who is based at Capel St Mary trekked across Holland in full World War II uniform and carrying weapons to mark the anniversary of the Arnhem landings and operation Market Garden in September 1944.

ASO Hardman admitted he had been nervous about the trip beforehand but said nothing could have prepared him for the gruelling challenge, both physically and mentally, he faced.

The 34-year-old dad-of-three said: “It was very, very hard - harder than I imagined.

“On the first day we had to complete 30 miles and it rained so I was absolutely soaked.

“Then other days it reached 27C so that was much too hot.

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“I started to appreciate even more what the men who actually took part would have faced - it would have been much worse for them.

“We were all in it together and spurring each other on when it got really hard.

“Everyone there completed it but it was the hardest thing we've ever done, even the men from the Army were struggling and they are the fittest of the fit.”

He explained that the group of intrepid policemen and soldiers from across Britain had also attended memorial services for the many men who had died during the original operation and he had also met veterans who took part along the way.

He added: “They seemed to appreciate what we were doing and the stories they told us made really think.

“It is nice to give something back because they did so much for us.”

ASO Hardman has raised about £500 so far for the Royal British Legion and the Seven Springs Cheshire Home, which cares for physically disabled adults, and he is hoping to collect even more.

Weblink: www.rememberseptember44.com

www.avig78.dsl.pipex.com

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