On the march in soldier’s memory

Robert Mitchinson (right) and Mark Birley, ready for the 40 mile Lyke Wake Walk and (below) marine Darren Smith.
Robert Mitchinson (right) and Mark Birley, ready for the 40 mile Lyke Wake Walk and (below) marine Darren Smith.
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THE father of fallen marine Darren Smith is taking on a mammoth challenge to raise money for the trust set up in his son’s name.

Robert Mitchinson, from Fleetwood, will walk 40 miles across Yorkshire next Friday in under 24 hours.

Marine Darren Smith

Marine Darren Smith

He says raising money in his son’s memory helps him through his grief.

The 56-year-old, of Tees Court, Fleetwood, said: “I’ll never get over what happened but doing this is something my son would be proud of.

“It gives me a bit of a lift and I’m glad to be raising money to help others.”

Marine Smith joined X-ray Company of 45 Commando in July 2008 after completing Royal Marines Commando Recruit Training.

The loving father, who left behind his partner Kelly Parker and young daughter Keira, was ambushed by Taliban rebels in Afghanistan on February 14, 2009.

He was shot during the exchange with the fighters in Helmand and died en-route to an army hospital at Camp Bastion.

An inquest recorded the 27-year-old was unlawfully killed.

Mr Mitchinson will carry out the 40-mile walk across the North York Moors from Osmotherley to Ravenscar with friend Mark Birley.

They hope to raise money for a trust set up in memory of Marine Smith, which supports local cadets as well as the Royal Marine Charity Trust Fund.

Mr Mitchinson, a merchant seaman, added: “We are going to set off at 4am and hopefully finish it that day, well under the 24 hour challenge.

“We’re raising money for Darren’s memorial fund which gives a trophy to the best cadet in the area every year and gives them money for new equipment like canoes or trips out.

“Some money will also go to the Royal Marine Charity Trust Fund - the marines need £6m by 2014 to build a new facility. They are doing quite well but every bit helps.”

Last year Mr Mitchinson raised £5,000 by carrying out a coast to coast walk from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire in memory of Marine Smith.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Mr Mitchinson can log on to www.justgiving.com/robert-mitchinson