Mum’s walk in son’s memory

Christine Bonner
Christine Bonner
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A MOTHER from Gedney is preparing to pull on her walking boots for a 150-mile trek in memory of her son, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Christine Bonner, of Chapelgate, will walk through four counties with serving members of the Royal Anglian Regiment and other loyal supporters in a bid to raise more than £50,000 for the regiment’s benevolent fund.

Cpl Darren Bonner (31) had been on his second tour of Afghanistan when the Viking armoured vehicle he was a passenger in hit a bomb while travelling in a convoy in Helmand Province.

His vehicle took the full impact of the explosion and he died on May 28, 2007.

Christine’s 150-mile adventure will be the fourth time she has walked to raise money for veterans and wounded soldiers from the regiment.

She said: “The first walk was in 2008. I said I had got to do something to help and all I could do was walk. That was where 100 Miles for Nine Smiles came from.

“We lost nine lads on that tour.”

Christine (55) helped to raise £35,000 that year and since then, the walk has been opened up to include the entire regiment for the All the 4s challenge – 4 the boys, 4 the families, 4 the fallen, 4 ever.

She said she wanted to open up the event because she knew how much she had got out of it.

Each 150-mile trek has followed a slightly different route and takes in towns and villages which mean something to the members of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Collectively, the events have now helped to raise more than £120,000.

This year’s walk will start in Scunthorpe tomorrow and end in Southend on Sunday, August 24.

It will pass through Spalding on Tuesday, with the final mile of that day due to start at Ayscoughfee Memorial Gardens at 4pm.

The walkers will be easily identified with matching T-shirts and will be armed with collection buckets for passers-by to donate along the way.

Christine said: “I remember one lady who stopped her car in the street and ran to a cash machine to get some money for us. We have also had people waiting on street corners and in the middle of nowhere for us.”

She added: “We must continue to support our soldiers as best we can. They need our help.”

l For more information about the All the 4s walk, for the exact route, to join in and to pledge sponsorship, visit www.allthe4s.co.uk