A sailor from Chatteris is plotting an escape from his shore-base, in Cornwall, to head for London by whatever means possible with the aim of raising as much money as he can for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).
Lt Cdr David ‘Freddy’ Fox is one of four sailors from HMS Raleigh who have signed up for the mission, starting on Wednesday.
They plan to travel around 230 miles to the nation’s capital, arriving at Twickenham by Saturday, May 3, in time for the annual Royal Navy v Army rugby match – one of the highlights of the military sporting calendar.
Members of the public, businesses and organisations will be asked to set the team challenges along the way and donate to the charity, by logging on to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EscapetoTwickenham.
The team will leave HMS Raleigh with just a sleeping bag, a water bottle and a change of clothes.
They will be reliant on members of the public for transport, a place to stay each night and food.
The 47-year-old said: “With so much experience between us, I’m sure we can bring it into play to meet any challenges that come our way.
“The aim here is to raise as much money as possible for the RNRMC, a fantastic organisation which is close to all our hearts. We hope as many people as possible will donate to us as we make our way to Twickenham. A Royal Navy win to round it off would be the perfect end to our challenge.”
Members of the public will be able to follow the team’s progress on the Royal Navy’s Facebook page. The first challenge will come from the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, Captain Bob Fancy, as the team slip out of the gate.
A former pupil of Cromwell Community School, Lt Cdr Fox worked as a yardman for a vegetable pre-packing company prior to joining the Royal Navy in 1984 as a rating.
He was appointed to the Officer Corps in 2002 and has spent most of his career serving beneath the waves on board six submarines.
Highlights of his career include back to back deployments on HMS Triumph between 1998 and 2001, when he spent 27 months out of 33 away at sea.
Lt Cdr Fox was the oldest submariner since records began in 1917 to complete the Submarine Command Course in 2011. The course, known as Perisher, is an intense six-month training package which assesses each student’s suitability to take command of a submarine.
Posted to Raleigh at the end of last year, Lt Cdr Fox heads up the Initial Naval Training School, managing the team who deliver the 10-week basic induction course to roughly 2,000 new ratings each year.
As the principal charity of the Royal Navy, the RNRMC focuses on the sailors and marines who wear the uniform today by helping to boost morale, improving facilities and easing the pressures of service life. The charity also provides valuable funds for naval and military charities that work with families and veterans.
The RNRMC has set sailors and Royal Marines ‘The road to Twickenham’ challenge to raise money for the charity. The group from HMS Raleigh have adapted this theme for their own ‘Escape to Twickenham’ event.