D-Day anniversary inspires couple’s 10K running garb

ROYAL British Legion supporters George and Dawn Harrill are due to run the Bristol 10K in distinctive fancy dress.
For the event on May 19, Dawn will be dressed as a giant Remembrance poppy and George will complete the course wearing the uniform of a Second World War army medic. Dawn is the Poppy Appeal organiser for the Bitton and Oldland branch of the Royal British Legion and George is an army officer with over 40 years’ military service, mostly with the Royal Army Medical Corps, so raising funds for veterans and their families while remembering the sacrifices of those who have gone before is important to them.

The last time George and Dawn did a fundraiser like this was at the 2018 Bristol half a marathon, when they went round the course wearing First World War army uniforms and carrying a military stretcher. The 2018 event was the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, crowd support was amazing and they raised well over £250 on the way round plus other donations that followed.

Supporters at the Bristol 10K will be able to drop coins into a collecting bucket or scan an official Royal British Legion QR code carried by Dawn and George to make a donation.

This year’s costumes mark the 80th anniversary of D-day and the many other military campaigns of 1944, which eventually brought an end to the Second World War.

Dawn’s father Bob Riglar was a light infantry RSM who served in Malaya, Borneo and Northern Ireland, while her grandfather Fred was a war veteran who had spent a lifetime in uniform from 1918 to 1945.

George’s grandfathers all served during the war, Bert Gibbard was a Corporal gunner in the Royal Marines wounded at Crete who eventually went ashore during the Scheldt estuary landings in Holland, while Douglas Thompson was a King’s Shropshire Light Infantry soldier captured in Italy, who later successfully escaped from his prison camp in Germany. George’s step grandfather Bill Thomas was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy on anti-submarine patrols in the North Atlantic.

George is an officer with 243 Multi-role Medical Regiment based at Keynsham. The unit recruits the skills of NHS medical staff into this medical regiment of the Army Reserves, where on a part-time basis they form an essential part of the UK’s defence.

George said: ‘We should all be proud of this country and our history of standing up against oppression, something which we still do, with some very committed and professional full time and reserve personnel. Dawn and I are looking forward to a worthwhile fun day on May 19th.”

To sponsor the pair, go to https://tinyurl.com/2ymramwb