Friends of army veteran Danny Johnston and fellow charity supporters have set off on a bike ride in his memory from Bognor Regis to Normandy.
Danny served in the military for 14 years and worked in the Middle East, Kosovo and Northern Ireland but spiralling mental health saw him discharged from the military. He went missing from his home in Bognor on May 20 last year and was found dead in a woods near Chichester three days later. A memorial bench in his memory has since been built in Hotham Park.
Riders dressed in Home Guard outfits left from the town’s The Pink Pub yesterday (Monday, June 3) on vintage bikes and will head to Pegasus Bridge in Normandy, France.
The charity bike ride has so far raised £97,330 — 244 per cent of its £40,000 target — which will be donated to All Call Signs, a veteran’s support group, and Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, a charity to help children in crisis through the electronic music industry. Click here to donate
Speaking ahead of the event, rider Jack Keywood said: "It’s incredible and we’re still getting business sponsors in as well, three, four, five a day sometimes.
"It’s going really well and we’re very looking forward to it. It’s been a big build up and we're just looking forward to getting it done now.
"The whole thing has been amazing, as has the support we’ve had. The way it brings the community is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. People who have lived in Bognor for years say nothing has brought them together like it."
Jack said he and his fellow riders will arrive in Normandy on Thursday (June 6), the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and they will be going the 'whole way along the beaches'.
He added: "We have about five main areas where we will be stopping, very high tourist areas where WW2 took place. There will be loads of twist and turns as we go along on the route. We are trying to get as many Facebook followers as possible.”