Cheers off the Forces March 2017 competitors on Wednesday, May 24 when they leave Ilfracombe seafront for a 135 mile charity route march

The 2016 Forces March set off from IlfracombeThe 2016 Forces March set off from Ilfracombe

The annual Forces March sets off from Ilfracombe seafront on Wednesday of next week (May 24).

It is the equivalent of five marathons in five days and recreates an old ‘route march’ from Ilfracombe to Bulford Camp in Wiltshire.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the original march and it will feature teams or individuals from across the country, including serving forces personnel, who can enter free of charge.

The march is due to set off from the seafront at 10am and on the first day marchers will travel to Combe Martin and then on to Simons Bath.

The total route is 135 miles and participants opt to walk or run.

They are expected to be seen off by town crier Roy Goodwin and the mayor is usually in attendance too.

The route march was created in 1942 when Major John Howard was with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in Devon for training – he marched with them for the 135 miles back to Bulford Camp in Wiltshire.