Paul Thorner, a Veteran from Paulton of the 1st Battalion the Light Infantry, will be taking his boots to France for his next mission - Ham and Jam.

The organising started after meeting up with his comrade Richard Davey in August last year.

Rich came up with idea of marching from Utah Beach to Pegasus Bridge to raise funds for Care for Casualties.

The last time they were on the beach in France was 40 years ago as serving soldiers on parade for the 40th Anniversary.

Paul, Rich and 28 of their comrades from the 1st Battalion, will set off for France on Monday, June 3, and will take the same route along all the beaches as their heroes, arriving at Pegasus Bridge by 12pm in time for the D-Day Landings celebrations on the June 6.

Several sponsors from the Bristol area have backed the mission by donating funds for the ferry crossings and mini bus hire, as well as local companies and shops donating their services, food and water.

The team will be marching 125 kilometres over three days.

Their mission is to raise £30,000 for Care for Casualties – The Rifles Trust.

The Care For Casualties appeal was launched in 2009, aiming to raise funds to help members of the Rifles and their families who were in need of help as a result of the regiments persistent involvement in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appeal helps riflemen and women, families, veterans and those suffering from PTSD, which kills as many troops through suicide as war conflict itself.

As many know, Pegaus Bridge was taken by Major John Howard’s six platoons from D company the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry 2nd Battalion, they were supported by the Royal Engineers who captured the Bridge after a 15 minute short skirmish. The code name for this Mission was Ham & Jam.

The Ox and Bucks was formed in 1968 by amalgamating the four regiments of the Light Infantry – The Somerset & Cornwall, The Kings Own Yorkshire, The Kings Shropshire and Durham light Infantry. These regiments later formed the Light Infantry and was later reduced to the The Rifles.

Since the mission was set up and organised, The Rifles have got wind of Ham & Jam and has since wanted to help them fly the flag for their ancestor heroes and the Ox and Bucks and invited them to a string of VIP's events.

On parade 40 years ago on Utah Beach France.
Paul and Rich on parade with their troop 40 years ago on Utah Beach, France. ( )

On Saturday, May 11, they will attend Silverstone to the Rifles Charity Ball, where a video that was made in Ashton Court, Bristol, will be shown on screen explaining the mission.

They are attending the memorial service on Sword Beach at 6am of the morning of June 6 before they progress their march up to Pegasus Bridge, where they will assemble for the march over Pegasus Bridge.

Once they have crossed the bridge the group will be presented with medals presented by Monsieur Le Mer “ The Mayor” of France.

Medals for the march have been donated to Ham and Jam by The Westminster Collection who are the leading distributor of coins that act on behalf of the Mints and Ministries of finance across the globe.

The group will then be escorted to the museum for press and photographers before heading over to the Cafe Gondree to celebrate.

Paul, Rich and Ham and Jam’s admin coordinator, Sharon, would like to thank all their sponsors for their kind support and donations. They say: “Without you, we would be walking in vain!”

If you would like to help the heroes that have given their all, visit: