England

Cyclists return to Dover after Help for Heroes ride

Cyclists landing at Dover
Image caption The cyclists were returned to the beach at Dover by Royal Navy landing craft

Cyclists who toured the battlefields of northern France as part of the 70th anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk have raised £1m for charity.

The money will go to forces charity Help for Heroes, originally set up to raise money for Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey.

The 275 cyclists left Portsmouth a week ago and were brought back to Dover on Sunday by Royal Navy landing craft.

Some of those taking part were injured as serving members of the armed forces.

"While serving in Afghanistan my Land Rover hit an IED and smashed up my right left pretty badly," said one of them, Cpl Marcus Selby of 60 Squadron, Logistic Support Regiment.

'Less fortunate'

"Headley Court got me off crutches and onto walking sticks and eventually walking without the aid of any stick at all.

"I just felt I needed the challenge and to raise some money for guys less fortunate than myself."

The cyclists left HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Hampshire before taking a ferry to Le Havre.

The route to Dunkirk traced some of the Northern France's most significant First and Second World War battle sites, including Thiepval on the Somme.

It is the third year the ride has taken place and this year the cyclists joined in the commemorations taking place in Dunkirk.

"It's been an amazing six days and an emotional and rewarding journey," said Bryn Parry, who founded the charity to improve facilities at Headley Court, near Epsom.

"I have been very humbled riding alongside serving military personnel and members of the British public who have taken on this awesome challenge to raise much needed funds to help our wounded troops."

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