Friends complete London Marathon in memory of Captain Seath

A team of Captain David Seath’s friends and former Army colleagues have completed the 2017 London Marathon, raising over £6000 in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.

Captain David Seath tragically died running the 2016 London Marathon in support of the charity Help for Heroes. As a mark of respect, the team elected to wear the same colours worn by Captain Seath as well as a specially made commemorative black ribbon.

Many within the team met Captain David Seath at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where strong bonds of friendship were formed throughout a gruelling year of Army Officer training.

Alex Davis, who trained to be an Army Officer with Captain Seath at Sandhurst, said:

“Dave was a great friend and colleague of mine. His companionship through the best and worst of times has helped shape the man I am today. I miss him dearly. After his death a Help for Heroes fund was set up in Dave’s name – The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund. The fund was started by Dave’s brother Gary and I wished to continue Dave and Gary’s great work by raising funds for this worthwhile cause.”

Alex ran alongside David Jones throughout the London Marathon, who also attended Sandhurst with Captain Seath.

David said:

“The physical battle is obvious but mentally it was pretty tiring, particularly near the end. It took us over our sub-4 hour target but it was far more important that we finished it together. Dave would have taken huge amusement from the faces that Alex pulled in those final few miles.”

Many within the team spoke about the poignant moment approaching the 23 mile mark on Upper Thames Street, where Captain David Seath collapsed last year having experienced a cardiac arrest.

Angela Fewster-Neale said:

“It was an incredibly emotional day for me and I almost broke close to the end, but memories of Dave gave a huge sense of purpose and determination to succeed.”

Anna and Bill Campbell served in Afghanistan alongside Captain Seath in 19th Regiment Royal Artillery as part of Operation Herrick 16, who said:

“It’s been such an honour to run for Dave today. It was really quite emotional. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this, to raise money for this amazing cause and to honour Dave’s memory. Ubique.”

The team’s incredible fundraising will support David’s legacy through The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund, which provides financial support to wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans through Help for Heroes.

A year on, over £270,000 has been raised by The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund and one hundred and seventy-five financial grants have been awarded to beneficiaries who have encountered physical and psychological trauma in service of their country.

Beneficiaries have used the funds to purchase specialist rehabilitation equipment, enable respite care, PTSD therapy and facilitate supported employment placements and the setting up of small businesses.

Gary Seath, Founder of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund, said:

“It’s very important to recognise the incredible bravery, dedication and commitment our group of inspirational people have shown in support David’s legacy. I have no doubt that making the poignant trip in retracing David’s steps was incredibly emotional and we can’t thank them all enough for raising such an exceptional amount of money in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.”

Captain David Seath 5K Memorial Run raises over £1600

Over two-hundred and fifty supporters from the local community joined Captain David Seath’s family to walk, run and dog-jog around Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline on Sunday 23 April 2017, raising over £1600 in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.

The Captain David Seath Memorial 5K event was organised as a means to commemorate one year since David’s tragic death running the London Marathon, and the distance was chosen because it closely equates to the 3.2 miles David tragically did not finish.

The event was organised by the Gary Seath, the Founder of the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund, who said:

“Today has been both poignant and emotional, but the incredible support from the local community today has contributed to a real sense of solidarity as we commemorate one year since David’s tragic death running last year’s London Marathon. We can’t thank everyone enough for coming along this morning and supporting our work through The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.”

One year on from the tragic events in London, The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund has raised over £270,000 and provided financial support to over one-hundred and seventy beneficiaries who have used the funds to rebuild their lives having experienced physical and psychological trauma in service of their country.

Gary continued:

“To have supported over one-hundred and seventy beneficiaries rebuild their lives having experienced physical and psychological trauma in service of their country is very important, and this has only been only possible thanks to the support we have received from the local community and beyond.”

Captain David Seath Memorial Fund Beneficiary Neil Edward Jones

NeilAfghanistan veteran Neil Edward Jones received a financial grant from The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund to purchase a kayak and equipment as part of his sports recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),

Having returned from Afghanistan, PTSD took a firm hold of Neil’s day-to-day life, and  he has shown incredible courage in sharing his story with us and describing how the financial grant he has received from The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund has assisted in rebuilding his life.

“I have lost everything in my life and I let PTSD dictate my life up until recently. After losing my family and home with an addiction to Alcohol and with no reason to live I would close the curtains by 2pm-3pm in the day, get drunk to try an enable me to sleep for a few hours prior to 04.45 hrs every day where my nightmares start.

“My whole clock revolved around my nightmares and worrying for the next night; I was tied with no strength and no will to live, there was just no point to keep on fighting a war years later which is tiring with no sign of peace. If I went to a supermarket or busy place I would see an illusion of a little Afghan Girl pulling on my leg, a real memory of an operation I was involved in where I had taken a high profile terrorist prisoner at 04.45 hrs on an operation in his home with his daughter screaming and crying trying to fight me as I dragged her farther away from her.

“The world is a better and safer place with this bad man away, however I still have guilt for his daughter maybe my daughter was the same age at the time or similar age, and this vision has stuck with me to this day. Trying to walk into a busy place like Tesco’s and be normal is extremely hard with a little girl fighting, kicking and pulling your leg screaming at you. Together with the nightmare’s you believe you can never be well enough to work, care for your family or have any sort of life.

“I began to fight back a few months ago; after being homeless, I was first stabilised in a veterans shared home with support then I was housed with an apartment in Cardiff Sports Village with a view of the water from my chair in a corner looking out the window. Therapy is seldom and it feels like there is no end to the life and that it just can’t progress. But I would look at the water and say to myself, if I can get on that water I can train myself to get better for my kids, and just be someone again; not the man I was but if I could take Daniel, my 5 year old son, and Helena, my 3 year old daughter, to do something with me, even if they can some day watch me, they may remember me for something, as they are too young to know me as anything else.”

Neil regularly kayaks with a group of fellow veterans through the Cardiff Veterans Outdoor Activity Club and his recovery continues to go from strength-to-strength.

Tony, a fellow member of the Cardiff Veterans Outdoor Activity Club said:

“I’ve only known Neil for a couple of months; but as a former commando, I’ve seen a number of lads struggle with the challenges of war. His immersion in to kayaking (apologies for the pun!) has unlocked something. Neil has grown in self-esteem and stature. A natural leader, as he encourages those around him he is learning to laugh again and enjoy what he is doing. The banter, the sense of identity and purpose, and his clear intent to achieve something hitherto unknown has helped him find a channel and establish new friendships.

“He appears to have created the ‘space’ to think about life ahead, establish plans, and have a clear goal centred around his family. I can only thank both the donors and trustees of the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund – you should be proud that you are taking forward David’s memory through your generosity. I didn’t have the honour to serve with David while I was in the Corps; but my guess knowing a good many gunner commandos is that he and Neil would have got on – professional, mutual respect, underwritten by humour and humility.”

Neil continues:

“I have no regrets with reference to my career and life, I write this letter with a huge amount of pride in my heart and a tear in my eye. I was taken back by the Captain David Seath Memorial fund and how it has helped me and other’s through a financial grant for kayaking equipment to assist with my sport recovery.

“It is a great honour to receive your support from The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund and I am very grateful, It’s extremely hard to talk about let alone write about, but I really want you to know in some form, the difference the financial grant has made to me. Please also remember David with pride and thank you for your fantastic help and dedication to other Veterans.”

Donate in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund

Glasgow Caledonian University students hold fundraising event in Support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund

Students from Glasgow Caledonian University have raised over £100 in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.

Second year Business Students Sarah-Jayne Tunstall, Sarah Steel, Alexandrian Tzevelekos, Azar Ace Rasulov and Nathan Quinn organised a university fun day which included games, a raffle and a confectionary stall for fellow students and staff.

The event, which the students organised as part of their Business Studies course, was of special significance to David’s cousin Sarah-Jayne, who said:

“The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund is a charity close to our hearts and therefore saw no other alternative but to fundraise in support of it. We believe the event went very smoothly and turned out to be a success.

“There was great interest and interaction throughout the day from students and lecturers, who were intrigued to hear more about the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund. With this, were able to raise money for an extremely worthy cause, helping those who served our country”.

The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund provides financial support to wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans through Help for Heroes. So far, over £270,000 has been raised and over one-hundred and seventy financial grants have been awarded.

The funds have been used by beneficiaries to purchase specialist rehabilitation equipment, enable respite breaks and PTSD therapy as well as facilitate supported employment placements and the setting up of businesses. Based on the kind words received from several beneficiaries, our work is making a huge difference in rebuilding lives.

Our sincere thanks to Sarah-Jayne, Sarah, Alexandrian, Azar and Nathan for supporting David’s legacy.

Conquering eighty-four mile Hadrian’s Wall challenge in support of David’s Legacy

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

Establishing my brother’s legacy; what we have achieved so far

It is unbelievable to think that very soon we shall commemorate a year since the tragic death of my brother, Captain David Seath. This year has been nothing short of horrific and living day-to-day is an absolute struggle. As many have said, David’s death contradicts the conventional order of life and I will never recover from seeing my younger brother in St Thomas’ Hospital that Sunday evening. However, the incredible support which I have received from so many wonderful, warm-hearted people and setting up the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund has provided a solid foundation for rebuilding my life.

I have used this particular picture because I remember walking with David’s battery from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery so vividly. If I am being honest, I felt at peace for the first time since David’s tragic passing during that twenty minute walk and it was then I decided to utilize what I had learned in the charity sector to ensure the incredible amounts of money being donated were put to use right away through The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.

Before I talk about what The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund has achieved so far, I wish to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has donated money, organised, attended or participated in fundraising events in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund throughout this year, without your support there would be no legacy.  I am also delighted that this year we continue to support so many inspirational individuals, community groups and businesses who are ensuring David’s legacy continues for as long as possible.

Moving on to David’s legacy…

I founded the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund in May 2016 which has, to date, provided over one-hundred and sixty-five financial grants to wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans in partnership with Help for Heroes. The funds raised are distributed through Help for Heroes’ Quick Reaction Fund, which means the financial grants can be made available within 72 hours to successful applicants.

Our primary focus is to support those who have experienced considerable physical and psychological trauma in service of their country and, based on the kind words received from several beneficiaries, our work is making a huge difference in rebuilding their lives. The financial grants have been used by beneficiaries to purchase specialist rehabilitation equipment, enable respite breaks and PTSD therapy as well as facilitate supported employment placements and the setting up of businesses.

We have organised a number of fundraising events for this year, which includes a 5K memorial run/walk event in April, our inaugural golf day at Fairmont St Andrews in August and our highly popular pub quiz will return in November.

In addition to fundraising, I have established two further pillars to David’s legacy, which are CPR instruction and remembrance.

Having gone through the process of having my heart tested recently and researching the topic, I was astounded to read that twelve young people die on a weekly basis, as a result of undiagnosed heart problems, and that 30,000 people will experience a cardiac arrest in their communities on an annual basis in the UK. A cardiac arrest can take place anywhere and at any time and I hope that this pillar of David’s legacy can provide the skills and confidence to save lives in the future.  Therefore, we have established a partnership with British Heart Foundation Scotland to deliver a free CPR Instruction Evening in June.

Several items of interest, from David’s tour of Afghanistan (Operation Herrick 16), will be exhibited at the Military Museum Scotland (MMS) in West Lothian later this year. I am very much looking forward to handing the exhibit over to Ian Inglis, Founder and Curator at MMS, and will share further detail about this project in a later blog. We are also working hard behind the scenes with regards to installing a permanent memorial to David in the Heroes Garden in Dunfermline later this year. Once again, further information will be shared through our blog as the project progresses.

Once again, I wish to thank everyone for your incredible support.

#UnitedWeConquer

Gary Seath – Founder, The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund

Free CPR Instruction Evening to be held as part of David’s Legacy

The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund will work in partnership with British Heart Foundation Scotland to deliver a free CPR instruction evening as part of David’s legacy.

The event will take place at the Garvock House Hotel Dunfermline on Thursday 22 June 2017 and anyone, who wishes to learn about the vital skills required to respond effectively in the case of a cardiac arrest, is warmly welcome to attend.

Every year 30,000 people in the UK have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but the survival rate is less than 1 in 10. A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and to their brain. It causes the person to fall unconscious and stop breathing, or stop breathing normally. Without CPR the person will die within minutes.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is an emergency procedure in which a person presses up and down on the casualty’s chest (chest compressions) and gives them a series of rescue breaths to help save their life when they are in cardiac arrest.

Gary Seath, Founder of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund, said:

“Having experienced a sudden cardiac arrest running the London Marathon David received the highest quality medical attention, but tragically his life could not be saved. As we move forward in developing David’s legacy, we are delighted to work with the British Heart Foundation Scotland in providing our inspirational supporters the opportunity to learn how to react effectively should someone experience a cardiac arrest in the future.

“It’s imperative that someone who experiences cardiac arrest receives immediate CPR support and hopefully, through David’s legacy, we can provide others with the skills and confidence to react should the worse happen.”

If you wish to take part in our CPR instruction evening, please book online: http://bit.ly/2nUlDWY

Please Note: No funds raised in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund have been used to deliver this event.

2016_CHA_033 Captain David Seath_Poster A4 2 V2BHF-Logo

Friends to Run London Marathon in Memory of Captain Seath

A team of friends, many of whom have served with Captain David Seath in the British Army, will run the 2017 Virgin London Marathon in his memory. The team will make the poignant trip back to London in April and take on the 26.3 miles to raise funds for the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.

Many within the team met Captain David Seath at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where strong bonds of friendship were formed throughout a gruelling year of Army Officer training.

Alex Davis, who trained to be an Army Officer with Captain Seath at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, said:

“Dave was a great friend and colleague of mine. His companionship through the best and worst of times has helped shape the man I am today. I miss him dearly. After his death a Help for Heroes fund was set up in Dave’s name – The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund. The fund was started by Dave’s brother Gary. I hope to continue both Dave and Gary’s great work by raising funds for this worthwhile cause.”

Having graduated from Sandhurst, Captain Seath joined the ranks of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners)  and prepared for a tour of Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick 16.

It was in the Nahri Saraj district of Helmand Province in 2012 where he served with fellow officers like Pete Alexander, who said:

“Not a day has gone by where those who knew him haven’t shared a thought for him and it wouldn’t be right to allow the London Marathon 2017 to pass without throwing on the trainers and hitting the streets in his memory. As we sweat it and grizz it out to the finish line, we know he’ll be laughing his head off watching us, but he will always be as grateful to you as we all will be for any kind donations you are able to make in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.”

Matt Burton, a close friend of Captain Seath, spent the Friday evening before he ran the London marathon in Edinburgh. It was an opportunity to catch up which proved to be a poignant farewell.

“I am very proud to have been asked to join a team who will run the 2017 London Marathon in memory of Captain Dave Seath who tragically died taking part in the event last year. All funds raised will go to support the Captain Dave Seath Memorial Fund.

“Like all of those who will be running in our team, I knew Dave not only as a motivated and professional Army officer; but also as a best friend. His loss has been hard on everyone who knew him. But thanks to his amazing family, something incredibly positive – The Captain Dave Seath Memorial Fund – will be his lasting legacy.”

The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund was established in May 2016 and, so far, his legacy has provided over one-hundred and fifty financial grants to wounded, injured and sick personnel in partnership with Help for Heroes. The funds have assisted beneficiaries rebuild their lives who live with physical and psychological trauma as a result of service.

The team will take on the London Marathon the same day a 5K memorial run takes place at Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline during a coordinated day of commemoration for Captain David Seath, one year on from his tragic death running the 2016 London Marathon.

Gary Seath, Founder of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund said:

“We are both honoured and humbled that this wonderful team of inspirational people have come together to take on the London Marathon in memory of David and raise funds for the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund. It’s very clear to me that a very special bond existed between David and so many of his colleagues within the Army, all of whom have shared so many wonderful memories of David and we can’t thank the team enough for their incredible gesture in support of David’s legacy.”

Paramount Printers Proudly Sponsor The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund

We wish to offer our sincere thanks to the team at Paramount Printers who have generously committed to fulfilling our long-term printing solutions.

Paramount Printers are based in Leith, Edinburgh who fulfil printing solutions and mailings for the Scottish Parliament, Hibernian Football Club as well as many more high profile clients across Scotland.

We visited their workshop recently to meet the team, pick up our new leaflets and learn more about printing techniques. It proved a fascinating experience learning about digital and Litho printing as well as observing an incredible array of machinery.

We are pictured here with Paramount Sales Director Gordon Hunter, who said:

“Paramount Printers Ltd are honoured to support The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund with the donation of printed literature.”

Gary Seath, Founder of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund said:

“We are humbled by this incredibly generous gesture Paramount Printers have made in support of the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund. Paramount printers have worked tirelessly in establishing a reputation for providing the highest quality printed products and our future printed literature will be in reliable hands.”

Listen to the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund BFBS Scotland Radio Interview

I recently joined Fiona Chalmers at BFBS Scotland for a radio interview about her incredible fundraising in support of the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.

Fiona, who will run the Stirling Scottish Marathon in support of the Captain David Seath Memorial in May, served with David in 19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners) during operation Herrick 16 in Afghanistan.

I was honoured to join Fiona for an interview with BFBS Scotland’s Mark McKenzie to provide an update with regards to our fundraising activities in support of David’s legacy including a 5K memorial run, golf day and pub quiz.

Listen to our interview