Walk on Wales was founded by two veterans from the Falklands War who were on the RFA Sir Galahad when it was hit, killing and maiming many of their comrades. Over the years many of those who took part in the Falklands War have suffered deep psychological trauma. Modern wars, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan, have had a sustained intensity that has led to many more Servicemen and women suffering mental and physical wounds.
“In walking and talking, healing may be found…”WIFE OF A DECEASED SOLDIER
The concept of Walk on Wales was simple: for 11 teams to carry a specially prepared silver baton, inscribed with the names of the 50 Welsh Guardsmen killed in active service since the Second World War, on a sponsored walk round the 870-mile Welsh Coastal Path. Each day of the Walk would commemorate one of the names on the baton. The Walk would be open to Service personnel, veterans of all generations, our wounded, injured and sick, the families of those killed or wounded in action and the wider general public.
Walk on Wales was far more than a sponsored walk – it became a physical and emotional journey with huge human benefits:
- Many of the families of those commemorated on the baton derived great comfort from joining the walk and seeing their loved ones being remembered
- Servicemen and women spanning generations of service from the Falklands to the present day shared the challenge of walking around the wild Welsh coastline
- Many veterans were re-united with the military family and re-established contacts to whom they can reach out in times of need.
- Both throughout the Walk and the associated fundraising events, Walk on Wales connected with local communities throughout Wales and raised awareness of the issues of Service personnel who continue to suffer, long after their service has ended.
- Engaged politicians at all levels including The Prime Minister, The Secretary of State for Wales, The First Minister of Wales, many MPs, Assembly Members, Mayors and local councillors and promoted the issues facing wounded Servicemen and women and veterans.
The team completed their journey in November 2013. Around 500 walkers crossed into Cardiff Bay and were given a heros welcome by the city, and blessed by The Bishop of Llandaff. Veterans Jan Koops, Rod Morgan and Chris Hopkins together with Alison Elson, stepmother of a Welsh Guardsman killed in action in Helmand in 2009, completed the entire 870 mile journey.In total over 3,500 people joined the Walk.
All funds raised during the walk will be split equally between the two charitable beneficiaries Combat Stress and the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal.