Former Eton teacher makes trek in memory of pupil

James Cook sets off on his walk from Chittlehampton yesterday (Monday).

James Cook sets off on his walk from Chittlehampton yesterday (Monday). - Credit: Archant

Chittlehampton pensioner sets off on 200 mile walk to honour pupil killed in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter of 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles, who was killed in Afghanista

Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter of 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles, who was killed in Afghanistan last year. - Credit: Archant

A North Devon pensioner and former Eton housemaster is to make a 200 mile sponsored walk in memory of one of his former pupils.

James Cook pictured with his wife Marcia shortly before setting off from Chittlehampton yesterday (M

James Cook pictured with his wife Marcia shortly before setting off from Chittlehampton yesterday (Monday). - Credit: Archant

James Cook, aged 70, from Chittlehampton, will set off from the village square on Monday (September 2) at 9.30am to begin his walk to Littlehampton in Sussex on behalf of four charities.

Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter of 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles pictured with troops in Afgha

Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter of 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles pictured with troops in Afghanistan. - Credit: Archant

One, ABF The Soldier’s Charity, has been chosen in memory of Edward Drummond-Baxter from County Durham, who served with The Royal Gurkha Rifles, and was killed in Afghanistan last year, aged 29.

James taught at the famous Eton school in Windsor for 39 years and Edward was in his house for the last year of his tenure as housemaster, so his trek is a very personal way of honouring his former pupil.


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The walk, which is expected to take around three weeks, is also raising money for Parkinson’s UK, Calvert Trust Exmoor and Friends of St Hieritha’s Chittlehampton.

James, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease himself, said his challenge was ‘modest’ compared to what so many badly injured soldiers go on to achieve:

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“Their achievements are not confined to the very public arena of adventurous or physical challenges that they set themselves, but are found even more impressively in their quiet and more private daily determination to get on with life,” he said.

“Their example is inspirational, as has been the life of Ed Drummond-Baxter, so tragically cut short but of such noble achievement. I am supporting The Soldiers’ Charity because of all these brave men and women.”

Regional director for the South-West, Col Robert Jordan (Retired), added: “It is heartening when supporters take the initiative and get on with planning events in support of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, and James’ challenge is an inspiration.”

He has already raised more than £13,000, including Gift Aid, and anyone who would like to sponsor James can go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesCook15

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