Air force veteran makes emotional return to home village of Lavenham to lay wreath at war memorial, as part of nationwide cycling relay in support of Help for Heroes
An armed forces veteran made an emotional return to his Suffolk home village during a nationwide charity relay, to pay tribute to fellow service personnel who have lost their lives.
Adam Springall and his son Chris were among hundreds of cyclists involved in the Hero JOGLE Relay, a three-week sponsored ride from John O’Groats to Lands End – the two furthest points in the UK.
With only a select few covering the full 1,230 miles, most participants have jumped in at select intervals to complete a section of the route, all to raise money for Help for Heroes.
While completing three legs of the relay with other riders on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Mr Springall stopped off in Lavenham to lay a commemorative wreath at the 487th Bomb Group Memorial on Market Place.
It was a significant homecoming for Mr Springall, who grew up in the village until leaving at the age of 16, to join the Royal Air Force as an aircraft technician, serving from 1988 until 2012.
He explained he wanted to be a part of the charity relay to give back to Help for Heroes, which provided emotional support following his war service, and the opportunity to visit the memorial coincided perfectly.
“I thought it was quite poignant, as I grew up here,” Mr Springall told Suffolk News.
“It was very emotional, because I was able to talk to the other riders about the history of Lavenham. It was very humbling to be able to share the history with them.
“For me, the most important thing is, because of all the kind people who have put money into this charity in the past, it gave me help when I needed it.
“I’m not physically impaired, but mentally scarred by my service. Help 4 Heroes gave me a path to recovery, so it is great to give back to them.”
In addition to laying a wreath, Mr Springall’s son Chris also placed a remembrance cross in honour of Lance Corporal Jo Woodgate, a local soldier who died in 2010.
The Hero JOGLE Relay, which finishes on Saturday, has so far raised over £10,000. To donate, click here.