Charity recreation of wartime route march will cover 135 miles in five days from Ilfracombe to Wiltshire

The 75th anniversary of a legendary wartime endurance trek has been marked by the Forces March 2017 setting off from Ilfracombe.

The annual charity event sees runners and walkers from across the UK trek for 135 miles over five days to recreate a fiendish training march created during World War Two.

Proceeds from the march will go to the Veterans’ Charity.

Marchers were seen off from the start line by Ilfracombe mayor Paul Crabb, town crier Roy Goodwin and Penny Howard-Bates from Sidmouth, whose father Major John Howard took part in the original march during the war.

Chris Smith and Ross Hudson from St Albans at the start of the Forces March in Ilfracombe. Picture: Tony GussinChris Smith and Ross Hudson from St Albans at the start of the Forces March in Ilfracombe. Picture: Tony Gussin

In 1942 he was with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in Devon for training – and marched with them for the 135 miles back to Bulford Camp in Wiltshire.

The charity event is in its eighth year this year and organiser Danny Greeno there were 90 people entered, including a lot from the Armed forces.

He said: “The support that we get in Ilfracombe is always fabulous but this is more support than we’ve ever seen at the start, a wonderful morale boost for the participants who will be able to go off and walk the immense hills of day one with a spring in their step.

“The fundraising so far has been superb and we are hoping to raise a large sum of money – we are hoping it will be a record year.”