Retired Colonel Paul Edwards MBE, who served in the British Army for more than 35 years, has embarked on the Hadrian's Wall Challenge, running 84 miles, over three days.
This was all to raise £10,000 for the Museum of Army Flying, as they embark on a challenge themselves, to restore the museum under “Project Eagle”.
The museum urgently requires a cash injection of £100,000 to cover the costs of its closure period while it is being restored.
Other donors, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, have generously covered some of the funds for the restoration, but it is not enough.
Paul first commissioned into the Queen’s Regiment (Infantry), serving as a platoon commander and company second-in-command before miraculously passing the Army Pilots’ Course.
He subsequently commanded an Army Aviation squadron of 17 Armed Lynx Mk7 for two years on continuous operations and commanded an Army Aviation Regiment of 36 Lynx and Gazelle Helicopters.
Later he became Chief of Staff HQ Director Army Aviation during the fielding and introduction into service of the Apache Attack Helicopter.
Now a business consultant and MD of Strategic Effect Ltd, he is an ardent supporter of the UK Museum of Army Flying and the spirit it embodies.
Speaking to the Museum before the event, Paul freely admits to not being a long-distance runner.
“The route it is not like running a marathon route, it is a little bit of road, cross country, fell running and even when I do get to go on roads, nobody is going to be stopping the traffic.”
Forces Radio BFBS Presenter Adam Powney, caught up with Paul Edwards after he had completed the challenge:
For the fundraiser, Paul was supported by local Westover Land Rover and his two daughters and son.
Westover Jaguar Land Rover donated the use of a Land Rover Discovery Sport to assist in the run.
Mark Whittam, group operations director at Westover Group, said:
“We jumped at the chance of being involved in such an incredible personal challenge for Paul and we wish him the best of luck.”
“Westover has a longstanding history of supporting the UK’s military personnel and we actively provide special rates to those who are serving or are retired from the army.”
In appreciation, for all the fundraising Paul has done for the museum, CEO Chris Munns, awards a brand new Heritage Champion status, in the AAC Memorial, in Middle Wallop.
You can still support the cause here.