A charity fun run has been held in the home village near Sleaford of a young Royal Marine who tragically died of a gunshot wound while serving out in the Middle East.
James Oliver Roe Holloway, 25, was found dead by another Marine on October 29 last year on board the Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ship Fort Rosalie while moored in Dubai.
A post mortem confirmed he died from a gunshot wound to the head, however the Royal Navy confirmed this was not due to operational activity.
His funeral took place at St Andrew’s Church, Billingborough, on November 30, the village where he grew up, and an inquest is due to re-open tomorrow (Thursday) in Lincoln.
Billingborough has held a 5k charity fun run and 10k road race for the last four years, but this year, organisers Mandy Towers and Debbie Chessum agreed to rename the event the James Holloway Memorial Run in tribute to the Royal Marine from the village who they described as a ‘wonderful man who left this world too soon’.
Fancy dress was optional for the 77 runners - James was well known for this, they said.
The run set off from the village hall on Monday morning with entry fee including a finishing medal, tea and cake).
£890 raised will go to the national mental health charity MIND and the Lincolnshire-based emergency medical charity LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service).
James’ mum, Amanda Gray said he was an extremely fit young man and everyone in the village knew him for his running, as he ran constantly.
This contributed to the Royal Marine’s colleagues commenting on his ‘jaw-dropping’ levels of fitness in their tribute to him on the news of his death.
She felt that James would have loved it. Debbie, one of the run organisers has run with James in the past.
Ms Gray said: “The race organisers Debbie and Mandy and their team asked if we minded if they did the race in memory of James this year. We thought it was an amazingly thoughtful tribute to him and felt very proud that the village wanted to remember him in this way.
“The runners were amazing with some fantastic efforts made. The family thank all the organisers, helpers and runners for their kindness and efforts to put together a very smooth event.”
Organiser Debbie Chessum said: “James was really into his sport and we did it for him. We support a different charity each year.
“The run went really well and we got good feedback from the runners and more interest for next year.”
She thanked all the volunteers and Sleaford Striders for the loan of signs for the route.
James was serving with 42 Commando based at RM Bickleigh, near Plymouth.
In a statement released to the media by his family at the time of his death last year, they said: “His smile and quick wit could raise any spirits and people warmed to him wherever he went.
“We are so proud of his achievements and his enduring determination to fulfil his life-long goal to become a Royal Marine and consistently strive for perfection.
“James was bright, funny and his amazing warmth and kindness endeared him to everyone he met.
“A loving, caring son and brother, he will be eternally missed and forever remembered.
“His loss is beyond devastating. A true gift to the world and certainly our world is a lesser place without him.”
In a press statement on his death, Commanding Officer Lt Col Mark Totten added: “Energy, enthusiasm and irrepressible good humour were James Holloway’s hallmarks.
“A true professional, his desire to be the best Marine he possibly could was evident in all he did.
“His approach was an example for his fellow Marines and, through his jaw-dropping levels of fitness, he set the standard.
“Ever popular, he lifted any team he was a member of and was welcomed across the Commando. We mourn his passing now and will miss him always.”