Former Mansfield policemen go on 500 mile Western Front trek for Help For Heroes

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A serving force Sergeant and three former police officers from Mansfield and Forest Town have put their best foot forward to walk the entire Western Front route.

Sergeant John Austin, of Ops Support, headed off on the trip on Tuesday May 7, starting in Belgium, joined by former Inspectors Mick Hilton, Darron Hall, and former Sergeant Wayne Turner. They are walking around 18 miles a day, through France, in blistering 30 degree heat, for a total of 36 days, finishing at the Swiss border.

They are expected to walk over 500 miles in total, after the initial idea was crafted by Mick Hilton.The four friends, who share an interest in walking as well as the Great War, are travelling self-supported, carrying all their kit, camping under the stars, and sleeping in graveyards, all while raising money for Help for Heroes.

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John and Wayne, who are both former engineers with the British Army, along with Darron and Mick decided half way on their trip to raise funds for the charity, which helps wounded, injured and sick service men and women to live independent lives.

Former Sgt Wayne Turner said: “We were initially reluctant to do this for charity as we weren’t sure if we would make it, but now being almost halfway there and despite some aches and pains, and a few blisters, we are determined to make it.

“We have already raised more than £700 for this great charity, but would really appreciate any donations people were willing to make.”

To donate to their charity, visit