Mum on the march again

Christine Bonner and fellow walkers arrive in Wisbech and are met by Mayor Nick Meekins before heading to the war memorial
Christine Bonner and fellow walkers arrive in Wisbech and are met by Mayor Nick Meekins before heading to the war memorial

CAMPAIGNING mum Christine Bonner, who will be hitting the roads again this year for a sponsored walk in memory of her soldier son, is waiting to hear whether her phone was hacked by journalists at the now defunct News of the World

Christine, who will be joined by serving soldiers to cover 150 miles in 10 days to raise cash for the Royal Anglian Regiment Benevolent Fund, said there is a possibility her phone was hacked into after her son Cpl Darren Bonner was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

She said the national Sunday newspaper’s database is currently being scrutinised so it was a matter of waiting to hear.

But she added: “At first when I heard it was possible my phone had been hacked I wondered what on earth they were hoping to gain by listening in to my conversations. Then, when I thought about some of the conversations I was having at the time Darren died with other mothers, whose sons had been killed, I was upset and angry. I was talking about things, my feelings, that I couldn’t talk about with my family because they were dealing with their own grief.

“I really can’t understand what they would hope to get out of hacking into my phone, but then again there were things in the papers at the time that I wondered where they had found out about them - so who knows.”

However, she is putting the issue behind her while she prepares for this year’s challenging walk, which takes in four of the counties covered by the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Christine and the team will be stepping out from Scunthorpe on August 12 and will walk between 10 and 16 miles a day finishing in Southend on Sunday August 19.

Last year Christine and the soldiers covered a route which took in places that had a significance for Christine in terms of Darren’s life including Wisbech and raised £2,000 in donations in the town in just one day.

The walk actually netted £52,000 for the charity, which cares for soldiers and their families, and Christine, who lives in Fenland, is hoping this year will top that.

Christine felt driven to do something positive in memory of Darren and this is the fourth year she has undertaken a sponsored walk and each year the event has got bigger, raising increasingly more money for the fund.

In 2009 the walk got a name - All the 4s - 4 the boys, 4 the families, 4 the fallen and 4 ever. And there is also a website: and you can sponsor Christine and the soldiers by visiting this and clicking on the donate link.

Christine is also keen to encourage members of the public to get involved and anyone is welcome to join the walkers either for the whole trek, or for individual legs simply visit the website to find out more about where they will be walking and to get a sponsor form.