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Profile

Richard Purton

The London Marathon for Aussie and June

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]I am running the London Marathon in honour and for the memory of Austin Walker MBE and his wife June for the Royal British Legion. Aussie was the reason I joined the Legion. Aussie became my mentor and supporter. Not just in the Legion but in life. June was Aussies biggest supporter. They were a formidable team giving the best part of their life to the Legion. They both became very dear friends to me. You can read more about Aussie and June and myself in the Legion below if you would like to.[/p][p]I became involved with the Royal British Legion at the age of 10 in the Sea Cadet Corps and then joining at 17. I have worked alongside the Armed Forces and have friends who have served and who are currently serving.[/p][p]I have been running since 2015. I have been fortunate to get a ballot pace in the 2020 London Marathon. It will be the first time I have run it. If you could find any amount of money to donate for Aussie and June and the serving and ex-service men and women who benefit from the Legion I would be extremely grateful. Thank you.[/p][p] [/p][p]I became involved with the Legion at the age of 10 when I joined the Sea Cadet Corps in Margate. During my time in the Sea Cadets, the local Legion Branch Chairman became the Chairman of our Sea Cadet unit. The link between the unit and the Legion became greater and my personal link even more so. The Chairman was a man called Austin Walker. Affectionately known as Aussie. Aussie had served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and joined the Legion in 1978 becoming the Margate branch chairman in 1988. I was a bugler in the cadets and with Aussie and his wife June would travel all over the county of Kent playing the Last Post and Reveille at events like the annual Poppy Appeal Launch.[/p][p]In 1998 at the age of 17, Aussie asked me if I would like to join the Legion as a youth member. I believe I was the first in Kent. In the July of that year I became a Standard Bearer and attended my first training day. In the October I entered the County Standard Bearers Competition. I won the Novice competition and then in the coming years went on to become Deputy Kent County and eventually Kent County Standard Bearer. This took me to many county events but most notable for me, the Queens Golden Jubilee parade and the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.[/p][p]At branch level I joined the committee and over the years took on roles like Treasurer and Vice Chairman. All the time being nurtured and supported by Aussie. I became the branch County and National Conference delegate and travelled the country with Aussie attending conference. At remembrance tide I would help Aussie distribute and collect poppy boxes. He lost a leg as a young man in a motorcycle accident. He would do the driving around and I would do the running around. We would stand together on the streets collecting during the two week period.[/p][p]In 2010 Aussie became the Kent County Chairman and very quickly turned the County into one of the best performing in the country. He asked me if I would like to train as a Parade Marshal which I did and became the County Parade Marshal.[/p][p]Aussie was also the director of the Isle of Thanet Festival of Remembrance. A small festival in comparison to the Royal Albert Hall but replicated as closely as he could achieve. Always with a military band and involving the local cadet forces and raising on average at least £5000 for the Poppy Appeal each year. I was involved as a cadet with things like marching displays and one year a very adventurous Royal Navy window ladder display using a scaffold tower. I suspect health and safety would not allow that now.[/p][p]In 2017 Aussie was recognised for his decades of work for the Legion with an MBE from the Queen. He phoned me with the wonderful news and informed me that he would probably opt to have it presented locally by the Lord Lieutenant as his health was not really up to the journey to London. I replied, Aussie, I will drive you to the Queens front door. And I did. With June his wife and a close friend we had a wonderful trip to Buckingham Palace and Aussie had his MBE presented by the Queen herself.[/p][p]In December 2018 June passed away through ill health. Four months later sadly Aussie had a fall at home hitting his head and passed away soon after. They were together again.[/p][p]Since 2015 I have been a keen runner. Losing 8 stone in weight and getting faster and faster. I was soon addicted. I have tried for a number of years to get a place in the London Marathon and when Aussie passed away I vowed that if I did not get a ballot place I would get a charity place with the Legion and run in memory of Aussie and June. Low and behold I have just had confirmation I have a ballot place. This year I have been lucky enough to be selected to carry my branch Standard at the Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall. This is the Standard of the Downs branch where Aussie was President when he passed away. That will be a very special day for me to remember Aussie and June.[/p][p]Being involved with the Legion and then becoming a member at such a young age has developed me and given me opportunities in many areas of my life. All of this was made possible by Aussie and his wife June. Aussie was not just my chairman, but along with June, very very dear friends. It is going to be an absolute honour to run the London Marathon in their memory and raise as much money as I can for the cause that Aussie and June dedicated the best part of their lives to[/p]
The London Marathon for Aussie and June image 1
The London Marathon for Aussie and June image 2
The London Marathon for Aussie and June image 3

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Supporters

Feb 24, 2020

Lesley Kingswood

Your mum must be so proud of you. I was the sister on Dame Janet ward in 1979- 1980. Fond memories and of your mum who worked nights then.

£50.00

Feb 24, 2020

Anonymous

Good luck Richard, we will be thinking of you on the day . Have a great run. Love John Moyra and family.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Feb 23, 2020

Neil Holladay

Great cause and a great man. Many happy memories!

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Feb 23, 2020

Sarah cole

Nan and grandad would be so proud and honoured thank you xx

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Nov 23, 2019

Lee Hopkins

Go for it bud x

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Nov 10, 2019

Mum

So proud of my boy!

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Nov 9, 2019

Dave Pearce

Many a fond memory of Aussie during my time at TS Jamaica, a real gent and noble man . Good luck at the Festival of Rememberance Rich, I will look out for you on the TV!! Also wish you all the best for the marathon next year. Aussie would be so proud!

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Nov 9, 2019

Gail and Nigel Terry

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Nov 9, 2019

Roger

Great cause. Good luck at the festival of remembrance and at the marathon in a few months

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid