Honiton barber visits war memorials in the Falklands

Special report. The Midweek Herald continues its reciprocal partnership with The Penguin News to cover Alan Rowe’s Falklands adventure from both sides of the Atlantic.

FRESH from completing the Stanley Marathon, Alan Rowe MBE visited both schools on the Falkland Islands, accompanied by Tim Lowe RN, to explain the purpose of the Baton Charity he founded.

They visited the Community School first, where Alan explained the baton was one of four created from handles of a stretcher used in Afghanistan.

“When we hand it to people we ask them to think of how people have been carried to safety by it and how, unfortunately, some people have died on it,” he said.

One of the batons is currently travelling to the North Pole with the charity “Walking with the Wounded” and, if successful, it shall be in the company of the first amputee ever to reach the Pole.

“When the engagement is over, it’s not over,” Alan said, highlighting the message of remembrance and the sacrifices made and still being made by those who have seen conflict and their affected families. He reminded the children of their responsibility as young adults soon to have influence in the world, to make their decisions wisely and vote with conviction: “You may end up in a position of responsibility yourselves. You may not think it sitting here, but it could be on you to make decisions that affect the world.” Alan then presented Acting Head Teacher Helen Bell with a pennant as a memento of their visit.

He described his efforts on Sunday’s marathon as “very much like a tortoise: head out and very slow”. But Alan is not stopping yet.

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Having visited memorials at Fitzroy, on Tuesday he ran with students of the Infant and Junior School and took the baton to the Community School from where the students of FICS took it to the summit memorial on Mount Tumbledown, finishing at the Liberation Monument.

His aim is to visit as many memorials as possible, and Alan left Stanley on Wednesday to visit the HMS Sheffield memorial on Sea Lion Island. There he will leave a large engraved pebble of oak in memory of Darryl M Cope who perished on the ship.