Hiking 360km for the Royal British Legion


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The Independent Online

Forty-one students from Winchester College’s Combined Cadet Force recently completed the demanding 360km (224 mile) Mallory Challenge in the Lake District in support of The Royal British Legion.

The young men, aged between 15 and 17, covered 10,800 metres (35,433 feet) of ascent and paddled across 6 lakes, all in the short span of 4½ days. Their climbing and canoeing was connected by a series of mountain biking and cross-country legs. "The boys did an impressive job," said Contingent Commander Sam Hart. "They put a lot of effort in and didn't complain once, even when we had early starts."

By testing their mountaineering skills, the pupils also paid tribute to one of their predecessors, George Mallory, for whom the challenge — now in its second year — is named. Mallory attended Winchester on a scholarship; he later read history at Cambridge. During the First World War, Mallory served as Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery from 1915 to 1918. After the war, he participated in initial British efforts to chart a route to the summit of Mount Everest, where he died in June 1924.

For today’s Winchester boys, this was not just a test of endurance and skill, but also an opportunity to raise money for the RBL’s efforts to help the active and retired military community: at press time, the cadets had raised over £21,000 for the armed forces charity.

Charles Byrne, Director of Fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said: “The cadets and staff from Winchester College CCF have tackled these challenges with terrific enthusiasm, capturing Mallory’s spirit of adventure. Their fundraising is an impressive achievement and will undoubtedly help the Armed Forces community with practical through life support, from crisis grants and family breaks to home repairs and benefits and money advice.”

You can donate to The Royal British Legion through the Mallory Challenge JustGiving page.