Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cold Coldstream Guards; 425-Mile March Is Recreated in Heavy Snow

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cold Coldstream Guards; 425-Mile March Is Recreated in Heavy Snow

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel

THREE hundred and fifty years ago, soldiers set off on a 425 mile march from the North to London in blizzard conditions.

This week a bid to recreate that incredible journey for the first time began in identical weather.

On January 2, 1660 General George Monck and 6,000 troops set out from Coldstream to London, in snow which continued until they reached their destination.

And on Wednesday morning, the Coldstream Guards will set out from the same starting point, the place after which they were named, in similar snowy conditions, aiming to reach London in 25 days.

Around 100 members of Number Seven Company, some of whom are from the North East and have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, marched to Berwick on the first leg of their journey.

Yesterday, the guardsmen, who are based at Woolwich in London and are part of the Queen's Guard, at Buckingham and St James' Palaces and the Tower of London, continued to Alnwick and today they journey on to Ashington.

From there they call at Newcastle tomorrow, then Durham on Sunday, before heading south, finishing at London on January 30.

The purpose of the march is not only to mark the 350th anniversary of General Monck's march, but also to raise awareness of the work done by Britain's armed forces abroad.

This is particularly poignant for the guardsmen as their friends and colleagues are still serving in Afghanistan, running security patrols in the Helmand province, where three of their regiment have been killed and more than 30 injured.

The dead include Sergeant John Amer, 30, of Sunderland, who was killed in an explosion in November.

The march is also collecting money for the Army Benevolent Fund, which provides help for former soldiers and their families.

It also provides invaluable training for the young soldiers, some of whom are to go to Afghanistan in the coming months for the first time.

Captain Mark Hayhurst, one of the organisers of the march, said: "It is to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the march from Coldstream down to London but also getting people aware that this battalion is currently deployed in Afghanistan. …

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