An accommodation officer responsible for local RAF bases including Cranwell and Digby is to take part in a charity event to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
Steve Coupe, 66, from Lincoln, is a RAF Regiment veteran and will be participating in Le Chemin de la Liberte or Freedom Trail, which retraces one of the toughest Second World War escape routes.
Steve, who works for Carilleon Amey managing the MOD estate, said: “The event follows the route taken by mountain guides and their escaping groups through the Pyrenean foothills southwards and upwards to the Spanish frontier via the soaring massif of Mont Valier (2,850m).”
During the Second World War this route was established for Frenchmen fleeing from the Nazis to reach North Africa and join the Free French Forces. Later it was used by downed Allied airmen and Jews.
Each year, a four-day hike takes place to commemorate all those guides, couriers and safe house keepers who kept this route open, some paying with their lives. This year’s event is from July 9-12.
Participants must be prepared for all weathers and carry their own kit for the four days, explained Steve. This includes crossing snow fields.
Since the 1980s he has raised well over £60,000 for a number of charities and completed 20 marathons.
This will be the fourth time Steve has done the walk and he said: “I have worked as a volunteer case worker and know the much valued work the organisation carries out.”
He will be joined by walkers from the Escape Lines Society, as well as Dutch, Belgian and French walkers and mountain guides.
To donate go to www.just giving.com and enter Steve Coupe Freedom Trail or send cheques made out to The Royal British Legion, to 8 Newport, Lincoln, LN1 3DD.