SSAFA

253-mile run from Passchendaele to Cheltenham is ‘a beacon of hope for the present and the future’

There are some place names remembered by many almost exclusively for the death, destruction, and suffering that took place there because of acts of nature or acts of murderous barbarism.


Belsen. Rwanda. Banda Aceh. Mai Lai. Oradour-sur-Glane. Cambodia. Darfur. Krakatoa. Srebrenica… The roll call of names repeated so often and yet without losing their importance.

Then there are place names associated with acts of war or battles. Nagasaki and Hiroshima come to mind as do Monte Cassino, Pearl Harbor, Thermopylae, Dresden, Bosworth Field. Kursk…

World War One – the Great War, the War to End All Wars – has added its own litany of names not just to history, but to the lexicon of meaning. Think of The Somme and thoughts turn to sacrifice, sucking mud, and slaughter.

Passchendaele is another. The Battle of Passchendaele was a campaign of the First World War fought by the Allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, from July to November 1917. The number of deaths and wounded on both sides is disputed, but estimates agree on a total of around 475,000 (275,000 on the Allied side to the German Empire’s 200,000).

Cheltenham-based company CDS Defence & Security (CDS D&S) is fundraising for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity – the company’s charity of the year – to mark the 106th anniversary of the First Battle of Passchendaele. It will do this on October 12 with staff walking or running the 253 miles from Passchendaele to its Alstone Lane HQ in Cheltenham.

Richard Bradley, the Managing Director of CDS Defence & Security, explained more:

“Imagine, as a company, embarking on a journey that mirrors the distance from the hallowed grounds of Passchendaele to our very own CDS Defence & Security Offices in Cheltenham – an incredible 253 miles.

“This endeavour isn’t just a run or walk; it’s a pilgrimage, a tribute, and a commitment to carry the torch of remembrance forward. Participants of all levels of fitness and dedication can partake in this profound undertaking with a personal distance contribution towards the 253-mile target.

“Our charity run is also a beacon of hope for the present and the future. By supporting SSAFA, CDS D&S staff will be extending a helping hand to those who continue to serve—veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families. Our employees’ participation, dedication, and fundraising efforts all contribute to a brighter tomorrow for those who’ve given so much.”

“So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting your journey, support us in this remarkable endeavour, not just for ourselves, but for those who’ve come before and for a future illuminated by compassion and unity.”

To support this life-affirming challenge by CDS Defence & Security, visit ssafa.enthuse.com/cf/passchendaele-to-cds-ds-in-support-of-ssafa.

For more information, visit ssafa.org.uk.

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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