British Army takes on Captain Tom 100 challenge

Army units across the UK have raised money for the Captain Tom Foundation while paying tribute to the late war hero, famed for his charity fundraising efforts.

It was all part of Captain Tom 100, which also saw celebrities and members of the public take part over the bank holiday weekend, around what would have been the former serviceman’s 101st birthday.

The event had a theme of the number 100, with participants encouraged to do things like run 100 laps or bake 100 cakes.

We wanted to give something back in his memory Captain Nicola

Troops fully embraced the challenge, with Nicola, an officer with the Royal Logistic Corps’ 321 Explosive Ordnance and Disposal (EOD) and Search Squadron in Northern Ireland, driving her unit on in a range of physical activities.

She said: “A year on from Captain Tom's own challenge, we wanted to give something back in his memory and encourage other units to do the same by starting the 'Ton for Tom' challenge.

“Hopefully this will really pick up momentum with units challenging each other to do their 'Ton for Tom' and we can give Captain Tom that last bit of support by raising funds for his charity, and, as one of our own, make him proud.”

The Northern Irish logisticians challenged themselves by doing activities such as a one-mile truck pull, 100 tyre flips, and a 100m sprint in a bomb suit.

But they were far from the only unit to do the memory of Captain Tom proud; they were joined by The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment (2 R IRISH) on home turf while the North of England was represented by The 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (1 YORKS) and Harrogate’s Army Foundation College (AFC).

Hopefully this will really pick up momentum Captain Nicola

Personnel from 1 YORKS, who were organised by Major Warren Allison, completed a 100km bike ride from Catterick to Captain Tom’s birthplace of Keighley, with other soldiers doing a 100km row using gym equipment.

1 YORKS has its roots in a number of antecedent units, including the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding), in which Captain Tom served in 1940.

In Harrogate, teenage Junior Soldiers (JS) and instructors ran 100 laps of the camp, cheered on by their fellow recruits.

The AFC had a strong connection with Captain Tom – he became the establishment’s Honorary Colonel last year and visited JS as they graduated training.

And to show this was a truly nationwide effort by the Army, Sergeant Hodgeson of the Coldstream Guards ran 100 laps of the perimeter of the parade square in London’s Wellington Barracks with his 9-year-old daughter.