Walk Schedule

We have a schedule for the long walk north.

Below are some dates with towns and details of what we are doing. Should you wish to appear or have contacts that want to be involved in events on these days, then please do let us know. Note: the timings when the team arrive into locations are estimates.

Sunday 28th July    Stand up Soldier show and presentation. 1830

Monday 29th July  Big depart Windsor Castle. Short Walk from 0745

Monday 29th July    arrive at Bletchley Park. 1830

Tuesday 30th July    depart Bletchley Park 0600

Tuesday 30th July    arrive in Coleshill at the Social Club 1900

Tuesday 30th July    Stand up Soldier comedy show and presentation.

Wednesday 31st July    depart Coleshill 0600

Wednesday 31st July    arrive in Derby 1900

Wednesday 31st July    Stand up Soldier comedy show and presentation.

Thursday 1st August    depart Derby 0600

Thursday 1st August    arrive at Doncaster Racecourse 1900

Friday 2nd August    depart Doncaster 0600

Friday 2nd August    arrive in York 1830

Saturday 3rd August    depart York 0600

Saturday 3rd August    arrive Catterick 1830

Sunday 4th August    depart Catterick 0600

Sunday 4th August    arrive in Sunderland 1830

Monday 5th August    depart Sunderland 0600

Monday 5th August    arrive in Otterburn 1830

Tuesday 6th August    depart Otterburn 0600

Tuesday 6th August    arrive in Kelso 1830

Wednesday 7th August  arrive Edinburgh Castle 1530

HCR Public Duties and State Ceremonial

When the guys are getting ready for CastleTrek, they are rather busy with their day jobs! Below is a quick rundown of some of the public and ceremonial duties carried out by the Household Cavalry.

Public Duties and State Ceremonial

A key defence output and one of the Army’s Standing Tasks, Public Duties and State Ceremonial form part of ‘the fabric of the nation’. For a country with global interests, these roles offer a powerful symbol of our operational military heritage, whilst enhancing the standing of the Sovereign and the Nation before both national and international audiences.

HCMR’s key Public Duties and State Ceremonial outputs:

The Queen’s Life Guard: In early times the Guard was as much as 100 strong and provided Escorts to accompany the Sovereign wherever he or she travelled by road. It now consists of either a Long Guard or a Short Guard on duty at Horse Guards, with a daily changing ceremony at 11 o’clock (10 o’clock on Sundays), on Horse Guards Parade.

Long Guard: When The Queen is in London, the Guard consists of 1 Officer, 1 Corporal Major (who carries the Standard), 2 Non-Commissioned Officers, 1 Trumpeter and 10 Troopers. This is known as a Long Guard.

Short Guard: When Her Majesty is not resident in London, the Guard is reduced to 2 Non-Commissioned Officers and 10 Troopers.

The Queen’s Birthday Parade: The highlight of the Ceremonial Season, and televised across the world, HCMR provides four mounted divisions to escort the Sovereign and perform a March Past.

The Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle: The regiment is in the dismounted role, lining the route to Windsor Castle’s chapel for the investiture of new members to the Order.

Investitures: Around 25 times a year, Household Cavalrymen provide staircase parties as individuals are presented awards and honours by Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince of Wales or the Princess Royal.

The State Opening of Parliament: A historic occasion, each year the Sovereign drives in State to Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament, escorted by four mounted divisions (over 100 men) of HCMR.

State Visits: Formal visits to the UK by Heads of State from overseas have the aim of strengthening Britain’s relationships with other countries. There are normally four visits annually that would typically see the Sovereign and visiting Head of State escorted by four mounted divisions (over 100 men). These could take place in London, Windsor or Edinburgh.

Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph: A dismounted division from HCMR represents the Regiment to commemorate Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the end of WWI in 1918, at 1100hrs, The national ceremony is held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London.

The Lord Mayor’s Show: A mounted division (25 men) deploy as part of the procession.

The Major General’s Inspection: The whole Regiment is mounted for an annual inspection by the GOC LONDIST in Hyde Park prior to the beginning of the main Ceremonial season.

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A Drink to get started

Thursday 21 March the Household Cavalry Museum host to a special presentation by the members of our CastleTrek team. We invited key stakeholders to hear us speak about our motivation and commitment to the challenge we have undertaken.

Martin Semple, our team’s leader, gave an overall summary of the CastleTrek mission before inviting the rest of the team members to introduce themselves and speak about why they were compelled to join. An opportunity was also given to representatives from both the Royal British Legion and the Household Cavalry Foundation to introduce their respective charities CastleTrek will be supporting. Finally, two ex-serving and one serving Cavalrymen gave an insight into how important the Household Cavalry Foundation’s help and support was, and continues to be, following the life-changing injuries they sustained in Afghanistan.

All of this drove home the significance of CastleTrek’s mission, and how important it is to us to meet our fundraising target.

Representatives from Jaguar Land Rover also attended, and were kind enough to lend out a Discovery for the evening to enable a photo opportunity on Horse Guards Parade. In another amazing gesture, they have loaned two of these Discoveries to us to use as support vehicles during the Trek in the summer.

The evening was a great success and allowed us to meet many people face-to-face for the first time. Thank you to everyone who attended, and thank you for your invaluable support.

If you would like to help CastleTrek, please sponsor us by following the link below. Or if you can help us in any way during the Trek, please get in touch via direct message or email Troops@CastleTrek.org.uk

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Piping for the Giants!

Martin and Rob will be flying the CastleTrek flag on Friday 22nd March at the Huddersfield Giants rugby league fixture versus Hull KR.

The guys will be split around the stadium playing their bagpipes and entertaining the rugby fans as they come along to spur on their team.

The fixture will take place at the John Smiths stadium in Huddersfield. Home to the Huddersfield Giants and Premier League side Huddersfield Town football club.

Before the evening fixture you will be able to see Rob at the turnstiles as he plays some well know bagpipe tunes such as Scotland the Brave, Green Hills and The Black Bear wearing his CastleTrek uniform and promoting the project.

Inside the ground you will find Martin on the centre spot of the pitch to play Flowers of the Forest just before the players burst out the tunnel and begin the game. Martin is simulating the iconic moment of the lone piper at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The tune is a lament, we hope it will make the hairs stand up on the back of the necks of the crowd inside the stadium.

If you wish to attend and watch the guys and the game tickets can be purchased through the Giants website

Maybe you would like to donate to the guys and show your support though our website also? Just click the Virgin donation button on our home page.

Pictures will follow and will be trickling out over our social media platforms. Just search @CastleTrek on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Online Donations page up and walking!

There have been some fantastic people supporting CastleTrek so far and we are so very grateful. To allow us to handle online donations a little smoother we have switched platforms onto Virgin Money Giving. This will allow us to collect donations in one location, apply Gift Aid and split between the Household Cavalry Foundation and The Royal British Legion.

We looked at a few different platforms, checking things like can donations be split between two charities, what are the costs of using the platform? are there fees for credit cards? Are our chosen charities registered (and are there fees if they are not)? Can we handle offline donations?

This is all to ensure as much money goes where it is needed, so we eventually settled on Virgin Money Giving.

We are pleased with the choice and have been able to set up a nice little landing page, check it out at Virgin Money Giving.

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Journey of 400 miles starts with around 30

Come the day, the guys will have a long way to walk. Each and every day will present its challenges. Before all that begins the team have been working to build up their fitness and endurance.

Archie headed out to stretch his legs in the Windsor area, taking in a lap or two of Dorney Lake.

Meanwhile up north Semps and Rob walked out to Skipton and back completing 32 miles in 10 hours.

Battles Over – A Nation’s Tribute

CastleTrek is playing its part in Battle’s Over, an international commemoration marking 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War I.

Organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Battle’s Over takes place on November 11th 2018, with events throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and at scores of locations overseas, including New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, France, Belgium, Canada, the United States and Germany, to name but a few.

It begins at 6am with lone pipers playing Battle’s O’er, a traditional Scottish air played after a battle, outside cathedrals in the country, following which a specially written tribute will be read out. At the same time, over 1,000 pipers will be playing the tune in individual locations within their local communities.

At 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1,000 locations, where at 7pm beacons will be lit in a tribute called Beacons of Light, signifying the light of peace that emerged from the darkness of four years of war.

Then at 7.05pm over 1,000 church and cathedrals will ring their bells as part of Ringing Out for Peace organised in association with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, which represents 65 societies of ringers from the British Isles and overseas. Also at 7.05, more than 140 town criers will perform a specially written Cry for Peace Around the World, the first of them in New Zealand and then across the globe through the various time zones.

Both our CastleTrek Pipers are taking part, playing at Temple Newsam and Holmfirth in Yorkshire.

Semps said: “We are proud to be playing a part in this historic international event to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War, and to recognise the contribution and sacrifice made by the men and women from our own community.”

Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute has been devised and planned by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek. He has organised major royal celebrations and international events for more than 36 years and has been working on Battle’s Over for more than four years.

“It’s wonderful to see the event being embraced by so many organisations and communities in this country and around the world. The centenary of the end of the Great War is an opportunity to acknowledge the enormous sacrifice made the millions of men and women who died or were wounded, as well as those who worked tirelessly at home in our fields and factories. It has been a privilege to work on this project with the support of so many amazing organisations said Peek.”

Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute also features special tributes to two groups of unsung heroes – The Chinese Labour Corps and the WW1 Tunnellers.

About 95,000 volunteers made up the Chinese Labour Corps, who dug trenches, repaired tanks, laid roads and tracks, transported supplies and assembled shells to free up British soldiers for the front line. Their work was a vital part of the war effort but is rarely acknowledged in the history of the 1914-18 conflict. The official guide to Battle’s Over dedicates a page to the work of the Chinese labourers, most of whom were illiterate peasants.

Tai Wee Kuang, a Director of Hong Kong-based L Holding Limited, said: “It is hugely gratifying to see the work of the Chinese labourers recognised in this way. They made a massive contribution to the British war effort and I’m sorry to say that this has not always been recognised or appreciated, so am delighted to support this unique commemoration and have the unique opportunity to pay tribute to my fellow countrymen”

The work of the WW1 Tunnellers has been acknowledged in a Lamplight of Peace, commissioned by Bruno Peek and lit at a special service at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, Westminster Abbey, London, on August 4th 2018. It sheds light on a special breed of men who fought on the Western Front, digging tunnels and laying explosives beneath the German trenches.

The Lamp is currently being kept alight by the events four official charities – Royal Naval Association, ABF The Soldiers Charity, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and the Merchant Navy Association, before being returned to the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, Westminster Abbey for 6am on 11th November where a lone piper from the Air Training Corps will play Battle’s O’er.

The British Army had about 25,000 trained tunnellers, mostly volunteer coal miners, but they operated in such secrecy that little was known of their exploits for years after the war.

The Lamplight of Peace includes a miners’ lamp from the period, a replica Victoria Cross, British and German barbed wire, coal from a Yorkshire coal field, trench post fragments and a soil sample from the trenches, and ballast from the railway line where the WWI Armistice was signed.

More information on Battle’s Over can be found at www.brunopeek.co.uk/battles-over.

Lakesman – Full Distance Triathlon

As part of an ongoing series of events leading up to the main CastleTrek, our guys have been completing various activities. Below is a write up by one of our team members when he took part in the Lakesman he completed in July 2018.

It is the kind of grit and determination in both training and execution that are the backbone of both the team and the challenge ahead.

2.4 mile swim  |  112 mile cycle  |  26.2 mile run

The Lakesman is designed to appeal to both the experienced or novice endurance athlete. It is a full-distance race based in Keswick, with a superb transition area at The Theatre by the Lake. This was my first full-distance triathlon and was the culmination of over a years worth of training. Being from Cumbria, and with family in the local area, I knew I would get some great support as I spent a day taking part in this brilliant event.

The swim starts at 0600 and takes place in the crystal clear waters of Derwentwater, generally regarded on the Lake Districts most scenic lakes. Once you are done in the lake, the bike route makes its way to the west coast of Cumbria where competitors get to experience a side of the lakes often unvisited by tourists, with mountains on one side and the sea on the other.

After some 7hrs in the saddle, you get to start the run stage where athletes will have the opportunity of running through the superb countryside with views to the likes of Skiddaw as well as a spectator-friendly section through Keswick town centre.

Derwentwater is generally regarded as the area’s most scenic lake and swimming in its crystal clear water is something all triathletes should get the chance to experience. A single lap swim commences with a mass start from the shallow water by the boat launch. The guys on the middle distance take a right turn early so the field thins out giving you plenty of room to manoeuvre.

You don’t really have the time to take them in but the views from the water are simply unbeatable! The claxon sounds and away you go. I found some space off to the side as I knew this wasn’t my strongest discipline. I had entered the lake with a friend I was racing against. Once in the water I immediatley lost sight of him. Though I had a solid swim, I knew he was ahead of me. I had been  sighting well until I was corrected by one of the supporting kayakers. Review of my GPS tracking later would show a bit of a squiqqle!

1hr 36mins later, the longest swim of my life was complete and I was out of the lake, onto a short carpeted spectator lined run to transition which is adjacent to Theatre by the Lake.

With legs of jelly, I ran to the change-over area to stuff a banana down my throat and get out of the swim kit ready for the bike stage.

Departing Keswick and heading immediately west you will see one of England’s highest mountains, Skiddaw to your right followed very quickly by Bassenthwaite Lake. The course makes good use of the A66 at a time of day when traffic is light, travelling towards Cockermouth before heading south-west on to the A5086. This undulating section affords stunning views of the Lakeland fells to your left before emerging from the village of Rowrah to the spectacular sight of The Irish Sea and West Cumbrian Coast.

An out and back section on the A595 brings the course back north, skirting Whitehaven, with views across to its historic harbour, before turning left through the former steel town of Workington. A flat and fast section between Workington and Silloth promises to be one of the quickest parts of the course as I was able to get the benefit of the prevailing south-westerly wind. From Silloth a loop around West Newton and Allonby reminds you that the wind that is your friend when heading north is not so much fun when heading south! After completing the 16mile loop I headed inland through the small town of Aspatria before heading for Cockermouth through a number of villages along the way, again the Lakeland fells come into view. I made use of all of the fuelling stations set up at regular intervals around the course. It was taking me approx 1hr to cover the distance between them and I used to this help keep my pace steady as well as managing my fluid intake.

A town centre pass through of Cockermouth is next which should provide a focal point for spectators before heading back to Keswick to begin the marathon. All in all, I covered the 112 miles of superb Cumbrian countryside in 7hrs 4mins.

The bike stage finishes back at the main transition site in the event centre. Leaving transition the route takes in some little known hidden areas of the town before heading North on the Cumbrian Way.

I had done a great job managing my legs and fuelling on the bike. I got into the run stage feeling strong and fresh. The run route is flat and fast with a mix of surfaces. The course loops out to Portinscale, with the mighty Skiddaw coming into view in all its 3,053ft of glory. The route then utilises the A5721 for an out and back section, which is closed to traffic allowing athletes the chance to keep tabs on their competitors and also enjoy support from friends and family without worrying about cars. It was here I caught sight my nemesis/friend I was racing, he was 30mins ahead of me at this point. I had just over 20miles left to make up the distance.

Back to route, it heads back towards Keswick town centre, once again passing through Elliot Park before crossing The Heads where the breathtaking lakes view reappears.

The course is a loop that allows for some great support by friends and family. Martin, one of the CastleTrek Team, came to show his support with his bagpipes!

I caught up with my adversary towards the end of my second lap, I was running strong and on track for a sub-4hr marathon, he was in poor shape and struggling with injury. I wasn’t going to run past him in that condition, it wasn’t the way we wanted the race to go. We spent the next 15miles moving as fast as we could, talking about the race keeping each other motivated as the miles pounded on.

Five laps and 26miles after starting the run, I was entering the magical red carpet finish chute. I started my race at 0600 and it was now 2020, some 14hrs 20mins had passed and I was now a Lakesman.


2018 British Army Photographic Competition: Amateur Category Sport/Adventure Training

Amateur Category Sport/Adventure Training: Lance Corporal of Horse Adam Blackmore-Heal

On 17th October, I attended the 2018 British Army Photographic Competition Awards at the Imperial War Museum, where I was given first place for the Amateur Sport/Adventurous Training category. The photo (below) is of the Household Cavalry’s Riding Master (Maj Richard Chambers) jumping over a picnic bench with the new commanding officer (left – Lt. Col. Paddy Williams MC) and the outgoing commanding officer (right – Lt. Col. James Gaselee). This was taken on the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment’s annual Open Day, during the Riding Staff’s activities display.

Making an entranc

The voting for the winners came from the public after voting opened on the Mail on Sunday’s site. It was a great honour to receive first place in this category, and certainly one of my proudest moments during my time as the regiment’s photographer.

I also had a photo shortlisted to be entered into the online vote, though I didn’t win this category, it was still fantastic to have it selected to be placed with other brilliant photographs.

There is also a video of the jump that became Adam’s winning shot. Take a look below.

The Riding Master's leap of faith.

Thank you to everyone who came along, and supported, our Open Day. Despite the heat, it was great to see a tremendous turn-out. As a little thank you, enjoy this 360 degree video of the Riding Master, Maj. Chambers, jumping over Lt.Col. Williams & Lt.Col. Gaselee.Don't forget to scroll, and look around, as it is a 360 video.#TrustedGuardians #ThatWasACloseOne

Geplaatst door The Household Cavalry op Maandag 16 juli 2018