Matt Brown will walk the eighty-four miles of Hadrian’s Wall in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund later this month. Matt, who met David whilst serving in 19th Regiment Royal Artillery, shares his memories of time spent together in the regiment as well as motivations and preparations behind the challenge.
“I met Dave back in 2010 when I got back from Afghanistan and soon struck up what we joked as a ‘master and apprentice’ relationship. Dave was a new subaltern in the Battery at the time, and I took him under my wing to not only show him the way on the military side (he didn’t need much guiding on the leadership side, going down as a huge hit with both the officers and the lads), but also in the buying of fast cars and tips on general young Officer lifestyles. Matt buys sports car. Dave buys faster sports car (and later crashes it).
“When I left the military, I met back up with Dave regularly in London and we soon went back to old days, this time Dave telling me how far his military career was progressing, as expected for those that knew him well. Well the apprentice had the last laugh joking with me the sorts of lines he was going to bring out at my wedding where he was due to perform as a dual Master of the Ceremonies last year. On undertaking his last challenge I, like many, found out the dreadful news from afar, and was devastated we’d lost someone who brought so much charisma and that cheeky smile wherever he went.
“I actually applied like many to the London Marathon to retrace Dave’s steps, albeit no doubt in half the pace of the wee man. However, unfortunately those plans were curtailed when I ruptured my cruciate ligament playing football pre-Xmas. Undeterred by the lack of right knee, I decided that I wanted to do something that would still raise some money for Dave’s true cause even if it wasn’t in the same Commando league.
“Hampered by ACL reconstruction a couple of months ago, recovery has involved a lot of gym work getting back to a state ready to walk the length. Military days behind me, it may be a case of ‘manning up’ this time but a challenge worth pushing through to do something in Dave’s memory. Living overseas means that walking in the UAE mountains here in 35 degrees in March is a different type of training than for the North of England too! The thought of Dave watching overhead telling me how weak I am has been a spur of motivation though it must be said too!
“My Dad had always wanted to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall, and on recollection of talking Roman military history days with Dave, I thought it befitting to embark upon something that I’m sure he would have been keen to join along with. We’ve made it four with the addition of my two brothers, the same Team Brown that embarked upon the Three Peaks challenge before my own tour to Afghanistan back some 8 years ago, again raising worthwhile funds for the same charity Help for Heroes. We’ll set off from near Carlisle on Tuesday 18th April, aiming to complete on Friday 21st April walking over 20 miles a day whilst hoping to raise over £1000 in the process”
“Dave – this challenge is for you and all the great charity work you undertook, you are still sorely missed by us all, and this Hadrian’s Wall challenge is a mere walk in the park to all the feats you achieved in your life.”
The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund provides financial support to wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans through Help for Heroes. To date, over one-hundred and sixty-five financial grants have been awarded in David’s memory and beneficiaries have used the funds to purchase specialist rehabilitation equipment, PTSD therapies, respite breaks and facilitate supported employment placements and enable the setting up of businesses.
We offer Matt and his family the best of luck in conquering their incredible challenge in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund. His just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MattBrown228