We few, we happy few…

A small team of serving soldiers, ex-serving soldiers and civilians will depart from Windsor Castle on 29th July and walk to Edinburgh Castle, arriving 7th August 2019, to raise money for the Household Cavalry Foundation and Royal British Legion.

This Band of Brothers is made up of serving members of the British Army and civilians, they will tackle the 446-mile trip together over ten days.

If you want to know more about the guys undertaking this gruelling long march north, then continue reading below as we asked them to tell us more.

Walking Team

These are the guys that will be taking the long walk north. A mix of both current serving members of the Household Cavalry and civilians, they will work in teams to keep the bagpipes on the move. Each man will cover at least 20miles every day, sometimes there will be two teams walking to cover the distance in the time but it will be these guys that grind out the miles.

Team Lead – Martin Semple

Martin Semple (Semps) is Team Leader and the driving force behind CastleTrek. Working as a Public Order Trainer for West Yorkshire Police in Leeds. He is also one of the teams pipers, playing with 103 Regt Royal Artillery – Pipes and Drums.  On the CastleTrek project, Martin added:
I want to take part as I’m keen to raise vital funds and raise awareness for two military charities that not only help very close military friends of mine in need but a much wider Armed Forces community. I also want to test myself not only in the actual challenge but strategically with planning, preparing, organising and managing a very complex project. Doing this alongside my best friends will be incredibly rewarding. Especially crossing the finish line at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo next August.

Team Member – James Archer

James Archer

James Archer “Archie” is CoH in The Household Cavalry. Currently based out of Windsor he is recently back from exercise ready to resume his CastleTrek task of planning & logistics. Archie is a keen shot but is also learning the bagpipes! He has this to say about the CastleTrek Project:
Very excited to get started with the challenge. The charities are a great support to so many of my friends and colleagues and I wanted to give something back. The challenge will be difficult and tough with lots of planning but this will make it all the more rewarding.

Team Member – Lee Walker

Lee Walker

Lee Walker is the experienced hand in the team having served many years in the British Army. Currently, Lee is Corporal of Horse (CoH) in The Household Cavalry based out of Windsor he is a keen shot and likes a walk out. Lee’s thoughts on CastleTrek are:
Really wanted to be apart of a big project and play a key role in making it a success for two fantastic charities. Also as it is my last year in the Army after a 22-year career I thought it would be a brilliant way to finish my time.

Team Member – Robert Procter

Robert Procter

Robert Procter is a civilian working as an Application & Development Team Leader based out of Leeds. As the technical one on the team, if you spot mistakes with the website, it’s his fault! He is rather active taking part in triathlons, mountain marathons, adventure racing and skiing. When he isn’t doing that he is piping with City of Leeds Pipe Band. Robert’s thoughts on CastleTrek:
I love an adventure, especially when coupled with a challenge; if I can combine that with benefiting others, then it’s even better. I am not in the army, but members of my family have been, and I have many friends who have served or are currently serving. I want to support those friends in this endeavour and utilising my skills and experience from other areas of my life to help make it a success is the least I can do.

Support Team

Around the Walking Team, we have been able to place a skilled team in Support. Without these guys, the already daunting challenge would become somewhat impossible.

Team Member – Mike Tupling

Mike Tupling is a critical member of the Support Team. As a Physiotherapist with The Household Cavalry and 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards (having previously served with The South African Police and Defence Force), Mike has actively been involved in assisting teams with medical support. Notable events include working with the South African team at the World Kickboxing Championships in Budapest in 2017.
“Every year I dedicate a week of leave to supporting volunteers going that extra mile for the Armed Forces. In this team, I have found some volunteers willing to go quite a few miles more!”

Team Member – Adam Blackmore-Heal

Adam is a guy who loves a challenge. During 13 years as a Regimental Tailor and then Master Tailor in the Household Cavalry, there were obstacles every day to be overcome. Now Adam is an adaptable and diligent Press Officer, with a depth of experience of planning and implementing multi-media projects, and communicating with national and international press organisations, on behalf of over 700 personnel.

Team Member – Tariq Baksh

As a currently serving soldier in the Household Cavalry, Tariq has 16 years across both sides of the regiment. Over this time, he has gathered an extremely large skill set. As a Corporal of Horse (CoH), he has participated in many different large scale projects including transport management and welfare.

When talking about CastleTrek, Tariq comments “I feel very humbled and proud to be apart of the team. As the Regiments welfare CoH, I have witnessed the amazing work the Royal British Legion do and of course the Household Cavalry Foundation which is a charity close to my heart.

My job on this project is to strategically administrate all team members and conduct all transport logistic matters to the highest of standards and keep morale high. I will be supporting the other team members, ensuring they get from A to B effectively and efficiently without any hiccups.”

Team Member – James Fitzgerald “Fitz

As a former member of the Household Cavalry, with some 29yrs service, Fitz has been lucky enough to experience life on both sides of the regiment. In that time he has been able to play witness to the fantastic work carried out by the Household Cavalry Foundation and watch it grow from strength to strength.
I truly believe in what the team are doing for both charities. I’m here to facilitate their aim, and to mitigate any problems which may arise on the way to achieving their final goal.

Team Member – Jay Shaw

Jay has more than 15 years in the British Army, 13 of which were with the Household Cavalry and more recently as a member of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC). He is extremely proud to have served on both sides of the Household Cavalry Regiment. His current role within the RAPTC is to help rehabilitate injured soldiers through physical fitness. He works within the Army Medical System alongside Physiotherapists, assessing patients’ injuries and improving their function and strength through individual and class therapy sessions.
“I feel very humble to be part of the CastleTrek team. I have been tasked to advise the walkers on specific components of fitness and nutrition needed to complete this arduous and challenging charity event. I shall also be supporting the whole team in making sure the running of the event remains successfully on track from start to finish.”