Amputee war veteran takes on D-Day 44 challenge for Military Charity


rob-copseyAn amputee war veteran is taking on his first ultra-running challenge on the 74th anniversary of the D-Day landings to support fellow injured veterans.

Former soldier Rob Copsey will be running 44-miles along the Normandy coastline for the relaunched D-Day 44 Challenge on the 6th June to raise money for military charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans.

The challenge, which consists of a 44-mile run or 22-mile walk, was set up in 2009 by Army surgeon Lt Col Mike McErlain to commemorate the 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France on the anniversary of D-Day. However, in 2013, the event was cancelled when Mike tragically collapsed and died while taking part.

Five years on, Mike’s widow, Jo, has restarted the event and three military charities, Blesma, Combat Stress and Blind Veterans, will benefit from the challenge.

Rob, of Dover, Kent, was working at Blesma at the time news broke of Mike’s death.

The 47-year-old, who lost his leg in 1994 when he stepped on a landmine while serving in Rwanda, said: “It was a tragic thing that happened to Mike and I briefly knew him and Jo through the work I did. I always wanted to take part in the challenge, so when I heard it had returned for all the right reasons, I knew I had to do it.”

Participants of the challenge are also asked to run in support of one of the three charities and as a Member of Blesma, Rob wanted to give back to them.

“It’s a fitting challenge as Blesma was set up in the aftermath of World War one, so cared for amputees from World War one and World War two. They were there for me when I was injured and I’ve benefited from their help and rehabilitation activities, so it is my way to give back. If another amputee is inspired along the way and it motivates them then that’s an added bonus.”

If you would like to support Rob, please visit

Signs up for the D-day 44 Challenge will close Tuesday 20th March 2018. For more information and to register, please go to:, email or call 0207 619 0066.

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.


Notes to Editor

About Blesma, The Limbless Veterans

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless serving and ex-service men and women, their widows and dependants.  It is a membership organisation which helps wounded service men and women rebuild their lives by providing rehabilitation activities and welfare support. Their membership includes those who have lost the use of a limb, an eye or the sight of an eye.

Blesma was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.  Blesma today has over 4000 Members and widows. The membership consists of men and women who have served during the Second World War and the many subsequent conflicts and peacekeeping operations since, including the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Follow us on Twitter @Blesma and Instagram @Blesma

For further information on Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, contact Jessica Mackinnon, In-house journalist, E: ihj@blesma.orgT: 020 8590 1124, W:

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