Baxterbear meets Ambassador

Baxterbear was TREEKLED to meet his Military Ambassador for Scotland, Tim Grantham, before the Armed Forces rugby match between Scotland and South Africa at Murrayfield. Tim, Managing Director of Wounded in Service Events, invited Baxterbear to Murrayfield to help make a difference for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The RAF Benevolent Fund and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ Charity. Tim Grantham
Wounded in Service Events are delighted to announce they have been appointed The Military Ambassador for Baxterbear in Scotland. Baxterbear is an iconic mascot and enjoys a close relationship with our Armed Forces in Scotland. Wounded in Service Events who organise and manage a plethora of diverse events throughout Scotland are honoured to embrace this relationship which will assist us to continue raising funds for Military Charities, with the help of Baxterbear of course! Tim Grantham, Managing Director, Wounded in Service Events Ltd
woundedinserviceevents.co.uk

A Bridge Too Far: Col Simon Vandeleur Blog, Day Six

Colonel Simon Vandeleur, Edinburgh Castle Garrison Commander, created a blog during the ‘A Bridge Too Far’ bike ride from London to Belgium. He rode with Baxterbear on his handlebars all the way there, and Baxterbear was TREEKLED to make a difference with him. To read a full round-up of events, click here. Here is his blog post from the sixth day: Nijmegan to Arnhem on Day 6 of our H4H charity bike ride. A very early start, like 0500 rise and 0600 on the bike and cycling through a cold and deserted Nijmegan. We crossed the famous bridge, captured by the US 82nd Airborne Division, in 1944 and as portrayed by Robert Redford in the film A Bridge Too Far. A very moving wreath laying ceremony with our US wounded veterans and our travelling Irish piper in his saffron kilt. Then on to Driel where the British Sappers have a memorial. They evacuated 2,500 members of 1st Airborne Division back across the Rhine when the operation was eventually called off by General Horrocks. At which point my green umbrella, which I have propelled, strapped on the crossbar of my bike, through 350 miles of Belgium, Germany and Holland, came into full use as the group was drenched in a torrential downpour of rain. I completed the remainder of the journey to the John Frost bridge in Arnhem with umbrella held aloft and remained mostly dry. A good umbrella beats Goretex any day! Another UK Ambassador popped up with his naval attach, to tell us that he would put H4H on his blog. A group photo beside the famous Arnhem bridge and then on to Ginkel Heath where 1st Airborne Division parachuted in Sep 44. We watched parachutists jumping from military aircraft for half an hour, with a very large Dutch and international crowd. It was nice to see so many veterans from 44 still attending. They are all in their late 80’s now and proud as punch with their WW2 medals and red berets. H4H have rather overdone the wreath laying, so repaired into the local hostelry with Baxterbear, Richard Cotton and Tom Helm, sitting in the sun and feeling pleased with ourselves having completed 5 hard days of cycling and raising much money for H4H. An overwhelming desire for a cigarette came upon us, so I cracked after 2 years of abstinence. Two cigarettes made me feel very dizzy, so let’s hope it will be another 2 years before such urges re-appear. Next stop, Oosterbeek church for another wreath laying ceremony and then on to the Airborne Forces museum, the site of the HQ of 1st Airborne Division in 44. It is amazing how friendly the local Dutch residents continue to be, having had their beautiful and peaceful village totally wrecked in the fighting with the German Army in 44. General Montgomery’s remark that Operation Market Garden was a 90% success, was a classic example of being factually correct, but utterly misleading. The strategic objective to seize a bridgehead over the Rhine and end the war by Christmas was a 100% failure. In footballing terms, it was a clear away loss to a German team that found their form after a shaky start. Then Baxterbear and I bicycled slowly back to our hotel, to wave goodbye to our bike as it went into a truck to re-appear tomorrow at St Pancras – let’s hope so anyway. That hot bath is looking inviting. Best wishes from a tired Simon and Baxterbear who hope to be back in Edinburgh Castle on Monday. And very many thanks to all the generous friends, relations and colleagues who have sponsored me on this ride and taken an interest, if you have read this far! It will be worth it. For the first day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the fourth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the fifth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. h4h 4

A Bridge Too Far: Col Simon Vandeleur Blog, Day Five

Colonel Simon Vandeleur, Edinburgh Castle Garrison Commander, created a blog during the ‘A Bridge Too Far’ bike ride from London to Belgium. He rode with Baxterbear on his handlebars all the way there, and Baxterbear was TREEKLED to make a difference with him. To read a full round-up of events, click here. Here is his blog post from the fifth day: I never thought that I would bicycle 95 miles in a day, but Baxterbear and I achieved it yesterday. We arrived in Einhoven at about 7 p.m. In heavy rain having started the journey at 07.30 yesterday morning. After 60 miles I was well outside my normal comfort zone, but we survived in good spirits and I salute the limbless veterans on their handbikes who all completed the course. Only one casualty yesterday, the Officer Commanding Nijmegan company Grenadier Guards took a summersault over his handlebars and landed on his head, which has not done him much good. Baxterbear is still in good shape albeit a bit damp. We set off from Eindhoven this morning at 0730 and attended a very moving ceremony at the Son bridge which was one of the first bridges, captured by US Airborne Forces in September 44. The Germans managed to blow it up first, so much time and effort was expended in constructing a new bridge before Guards Armoured Division could move on to Nijmegan. We are scheduled to cover 90 miles today – phew, this is undoubtedly a physical challenge. We are sitting on the floor of a school gym having a fascinating talk about the experience of being wounded in 1944 by Uncle John, Bryn’s uncle, who commanded a platoon of the Rifle Brigade in 1944. Army medical practices have undoubtedly improved since 1944. Pennicillin was in its infancy in 1944. The camaraderie amongst the riders has been tremendous. Baxterbear and I have made many new friends on the trip from all walks of life and all ages. We were amazed this-morning passing the healthy looking Dutch schoolchildren bicycling to school. The smallest children were on huge family bikes. The roads in Holland are much better designed for bicycling, I suppose, than in UK. Must go, another 40 miles to go to Nijmegan! Simon and Baxterbear Freedom isn’t free. For the first day of Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the fourth day of Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the sixth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. h4h 3