Charity cycle ride to honour fallen Gulf War comrades comes to Doncaster

RAF veterans Mal Craghill and Martin Wintermeyer will be cycling through Doncaster tomorrow, Saturday June 26, as part of a 690 mile challenge; the Tornado Tribute Tour of England.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 11:57 am
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:08 pm

The challenge, raising money for the Royal Air Forces Association, is in memory of friends and colleagues killed training for and during the first Gulf War.

Mal and Martin were all set for their Tornado Tribute Tour of England (TTTE) to start on February 19.

Lockdown three put paid to their plans for this ride, but the intrepid pair were not deterred.

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Mal Craghill (leftL) and Martin Wintermeyer training for their cycle challenge
Mal Craghill (leftL) and Martin Wintermeyer training for their cycle challenge

After training hard for months, Mal and Martin started their ride in Cornwall on June 18.

Taking place over ten days, the ride will start day nine in Thorne, and finish in Leeming Bar, after cycling through Wetherby, Markington and Masham.

The ride will finish in Washington, Tyne and Wear, on Sunday 27 June.

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The riders will attend a short service of remembrance at Kirkby Wharfe Church of St John the Baptist to commemorate Squadron Leader Garry Lennox of 16 Squadron.

Garry, a Tornado pilot, died on 22 January 1991, together with his navigator Squadron Leader Kevin Weeks of 16 Squadron.

Their aircraft failed to return from a low-level mission against enemy positions.

On their way up the country, they have visited and laid wreaths at all the English grave sites of the Tornado aircrew lost in the Middle East 30 years ago, as well as the National

Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Mal and Martin had originally hoped to raise £10,000 for the Royal Air Forces Association but have reached over £20,000.

Martin said: “Mal and I want to thank everyone who has supported us so far, from our sponsors, to those who joined us virtually on our training rides, to those who have kindly made donations to the RAF Association and most of all to the families of the guys we lost. Their support has meant so much to us.”

Mal added: “We’ve been preparing for this ride for almost a year, so it is great to finally get going. The ride will give us both the opportunity to think and reflect, and process the grief we weren’t able to confront 30 years ago.”

You can follow the TTTE progress on Facebook or Twitter (@TTTE1991) and you can make a donation at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TTTE

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.