Cadets walk way to £600 in memory of tragic marine

Tom and Alex were greeted by several cadets and members of staff from their home squadron at the end

Tom and Alex were greeted by several cadets and members of staff from their home squadron at the end of ther challenge. - Credit: Archant

TEENAGE Sidmouth air cadets smashed their time target on a mission to hike 50 miles in just 24 hours – and raised £600 to help other young people in the process.

Tom Palmer and Alex Morton, both 19, got a hero’s welcome home after taking on the non-stop trek in full uniform.

They actually hot-footed a 56-mile chunk of the South West Coastal Footpath - due to cliff falls and diversions – in just 22 hours.

“It was really tough in parts, particularly during the small hours, but we both pushed through - just having a bit of a joke with each other was a real moral boost,” said Tom.

The determined pair, both members of the 2019 Sidmouth Squadron Air Cadets, set off from Weymouth and made it back to the organisation’s Chambers Close HQ.

You may also want to watch:

Money raised by the duo will go to the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation (JTYAF) which is closely linked to a junior leaders’ cadet course both Alex and Tom are currently partaking in.

The charity was established in 2008 to honour the memory of John Thornton, a young Royal Marines Officer, who was tragically killed at the age of 22 while serving in Afghanistan.

Most Read

It provides youngsters with scholarships and bursaries to support the pursuit of their ambitions.

John was a former top student on the intensive course Tom and Alex are taking part in.

“The cause also got me through it - I kept thinking, ‘would John Thornton have given up?’,” added Tom.

“Between us we’ve raised over £600 and I feel honoured to have been involved with the JTYAF.”

The duo took on the 24/50 Challenge last month.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter