Manchester Resident and Armed Forces Charity Ambassador, Dan Searson, to Pay Tribute to Late Grandfather by Returning Sand taken from D-Day Beach, June 1944

On 6 June 2024, Dan Searson, a Manchester resident, veteran, and Military Ambassador for Walking With The Wounded (WWTW), will lead an expedition to Juno Beach in Normandy, France.

The purpose is to return a small amount of sand taken by his late grandfather during the historic D-Day landings in June 1944. Additionally, Dan has generously loaned an exceptionally rare WW2 artifact, a ‘Bigot Top Secret Bogus Map,’ passed down from his grandfather, to Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s former residence. This map will be displayed as part of their upcoming D-Day exhibition.

Dan is a former Army Officer and Medical Support Officer who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). He was deployed to Bosnia, East Africa, and the Gulf. He also qualified as a Mountain Leader having led groups in the Pyrenees, Alps, Peru, and Mount Kenya.

Upon leaving the Armed Forces, Dan joined the Reserves and founded ‘Challenge The Wild’ which runs a specialist programme of outdoor activities.

As he transitioned to civilian life, Dan started to struggle with his mental and physical health. He experienced chronic pain, anxiety and guilt from events he witnessed during his wartime experiences. He sought support and was referred to NHS Op COURAGE veteran wellbeing service and the King Edward VII Pain Management course. During his treatment, Dan learnt techniques to manage his pain and reshape his mindset. His experience inspired him to support fellow veterans and help them to see their potential post-Service.

Reflecting on his mission, Dan Searson, founder of Challenge The Wild, said

“I’m passionate about advocating for veterans and supporting them towards a brighter future. At Challenge The Wild, we emphasise moving forward from the past, embracing one’s situation, and finding strategies for success. I am also proud to be a Military Ambassador for WWTW and to be working alongside an organisation dedicated to empowering veterans. I am looking forward to being part of history and leading the D-Day expedition team to Normandy in June, to return sand taken by my late Grandfather from Juno beach during WW2. It’s a profound honour to carry out this mission, symbolically closing a chapter on behalf of my Grandfather.”

Dan joined WWTW as a Military Ambassador in 2022, furthering his commitment to supporting fellow veterans in their transition to civilian life.

For more information about the D-Day expedition, visit: The D-Day Expedition (

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