Crowd welcomes friends home after 150-mile cross-country trek
The crowd roared with applause as two mums from Monks Eleigh returned home following a 150-mile sponsored walk in memory of fallen soldier Jo Woodgate.
Jayne Woodgate and Domini Pocock were welcomed home on Thursday after completing the final leg of their seven-day cross-country challenge in aid of Help for Heroes.
The Ipswich Over 50s Brass Band played as they walked through Lavenham Market Place where they were reunited with family.
Buglers from the Blues and Royals played the Last Post, signalling a minute’s silence.
The friends embarked on their challenge in memory of Jayne’s step-son Jo, a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan just days before he was due to return home.
Lance Corporal of Horse Jo and his comrades came under fire while on a two-day reconnaissance mission patrolling a village in the hazardous Sangin Province.
The walk’s route marked the 26-year-old’s final journey from RAF Lyneham – where the military plane carrying his body landed – to Lavenham church, where his funeral was held in 2010.
Jayne and Domini, whose son is in the RAF, and who is a former Help for Heroes county co-ordinator, were supported along the way by their husbands Tony and Paul.
Mr Woodgate said the walk was an emotional experience, adding that he was humbled by the generosity and support shown by people locally, and by those they met en route, with an estimated £8,000 raised.
“It never ceases to amaze me. The local people have been so helpful and the British pubic in general,” he said.
“We keep asking them to give and they keep giving – it’s all very humbling.”