FOUR veterans paid their respects at the Ross-on-Wye grave of Private Timothy Jenkins during a 2,600-mile road trip this month to honour the UK soldiers who died during the Falklands War.
In a fundraising event called ‘Ride of Respect’, four ex-soldiers from across the UK rode the distance, which took them as far north as Aberdeenshire and as a far south as Plymouth, over 15 days on motorbikes, visiting the 80 gravesites and memorials of the men of who lost their lives during the conflict in 1982.
The quartet visited two graves in the local area, those of Private Timothy Jenkins in Ross-on-Wye and Sapper Christopher Jones in Cinderford.
The ride, which took place from July 31 to August 15, was the third event of its kind, with the veterans having visited all the graves of soldiers from the 3 Para regiment in 2019, and all of the remaining Falklands graves they knew about in 2020.
This year, they put both rides together and have raised more than £9000 in a “variety of ways” for the South Atlantic Medal Association, who continue to support veterans of the Falklands war and the families who have lost loved ones.
The ride was organised by Paul Moore, from County Durham, who served as part of the 9 Para Sqn RE regiment attached to 3 Para in 1982, and Charlie McColgan from Middlesbrough, who served as part of the 9 Para Sqn RE attached to Scots Guards.
The pair were joined on the ride by Phill Damant, who is ex-RAF and from Devizes, and Tony McKie, ex-1 Para from County Durham.
Private Timothy Jenkins, who is buried at Walford Road Cemetery in Tudorville, Ross-on-Wye, fought as part of the 3 Para regiment in the Falklands, and was killed in action at the Battle of Mount Longdon on June 12, 1982.
Timothy’s stepmother Jean Jenkins attended the veterans’ visit on Friday August 13, having first met Paul and the group during the first Ride of Respect in 2019.
Paul described Jean as “a lovely lady” and the group have maintained contact with her since the first ride two years ago.
The group also visited the grave of Sapper Christopher Jones, who fought as part of the 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers, at Yew Tree Brake Cemetery in Cinderford on the same day.
Christopher was killed in action, also on June 12, 1982, during the Battle of Two Sisters.
“It has been a great honour to complete these rides, meet the families and raise awareness of where they lie in the approach to the 40th anniversary of the Falklands war”, said Paul.
“In Feb 2022 myself and Charlie intend to travel to the Falklands and ride to the last 15 graves on land using loaned motorbikes.
“We also hope to hold a service at sea for those still on patrol.
“In the UK, we hope that riders will make their own ‘Falklands Ride of Respect’ now that we have mapped the locations of all the graves.”
For more information and to donate to the veterans’ cause, go to sama82.org.uk/ride-of-respect-2021 and follow the JustGiving link.