Budding soldier set for challenge

sp91403 Heanor Soldiers Sponsored Walk. Back L-R, Cameron Burgess, Mark Morris, Adam King, Phil Nanson. Front, Jennifer Campione and Dean Jukes.
sp91403 Heanor Soldiers Sponsored Walk. Back L-R, Cameron Burgess, Mark Morris, Adam King, Phil Nanson. Front, Jennifer Campione and Dean Jukes.

A BUDDING soldier with dreams of being a bomb disposal expert is to take on a 26-mile walk for fallen soldiers.

Cameron Burgess, 18, who works at the Warburton’s factory in Eastwood, has been with the 350 squadron, 73 Royal Engineer Regiment, for just two months.

On Sunday he and five other Territorial Army comrades from the Chilwell barracks, will take on a 13-mile hike from Heanor to Trent Lock, just south of Long Eaton – then back again, wearing their full combat gear.

The team is hoping to raise in the region of £6,000 for Help for Heroes, which provides vital funds for wounded soldiers and the families of armed forces personnel who have died.

Cameron said the team plans to take on the charity event as an older member of the same regiment had died recently of a heart attack while on duty in Cyprus.

“Help for Heroes really helped the family afterwards,” he said.

“It is such a good cause, there is a lot of young people going out there.

“ I know a lad myself who went to Afghanistan at 21 – he went out there and got his legs blown off.”

Cameron, who lives in Milward Road in Heanor, said the team will start on Heanor Market Place on Sunday morning and head to the Great Norhern pub, on Derby Road in Langley Mill.

Here the walkers plan to join the Erewash Canal and follow it south to Trent Lock.

The marathon-length journey will be made harder by the team carrying their 20kg combat gear, which includes large boots, a Bergen backpack full of kit, water bottles, waterproofs and a helmet.

Cameron is in the first phase of his training at the Territorial Army in Chilwell, but hopes to be fully trained by the end of 2012.

If so Cameron could volunteer to go out on active duty in Afghanistan or Cyprus.

The 18-year-old, originally from Edinburgh, is planning to become a full time soldier, and wants to train as a bomb disposal technician.

He said: “I’m not too sure why, it’s something that took my interest really, it looks a bit different, a bit exciting.

“Being in the army is what I’ve always been interested in since being a kid.

“I wanted to join the Territorial Army to get a taste of it and to improve my fitness really, before I go.”

To donate to help for heroes head to www.helpforheroes.org.uk.