Hero grandad inspires ride for old soldiers

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A CYCLIST will be retracing the route his war veteran grandfather took through Europe to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Andy Walker, a guitar teacher for Warwickshire County Music Service, will single-handedly be retracing the steps of the 151 Ayrshire Yeomanry ‘Black Bulls’ through the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

The 1,500 mile trip will take around two weeks and Andy will be donating sponsorship money to the Legion’s Galanos House in Southam, which cares for elderly ex-servicemen.

Harry Walker, 94, Andy’s grandfather, said: “I’m very proud of Andy because it’s a such big undertaking.

I think it’s a wonderful effort and a brave thing to do for a lone cyclist.

“A lot of the time while I was serving I didn’t know where I was – all we had to go on was road signs that had the names of towns on them that we didn’t recognise, so it was difficult to plan the route for Andy. Fortunately there are books which cover the 11th Armoured Division’s route.”

Mr Walker, who delivers the eulogy at Rugby’s Remembrance Day Services, added: “The ex-servicemen’s club he’s raising money for is a fantastic cause - we visited it about a month ago and they do a wonderful job in caring for their residents.”

Andy, who’s also a musician in Rugby bands Whisper in the Riot and White Men Can’t Funk, said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge of riding around 100 miles a day on my own and seeing the places which grandad helped liberate.

I’ll see Arromanches beach where he landed in France and Eckenforde in Northern Germany where he ended his service and everything in between.”

He added: “I have done some challenging rides before but nothing this big and never on my own.

It brings a whole new element to the cycle, having to carry all my gear on the bike including my tent, sleeping stuff, cooking equipment and clothes. I can’t wait.”

To sponsor Andy, visit, justgiving.com/blackbullride. To read his blog, visit, blackbullride.blogspot.com.