Race for Remembrance 2021: Worthing D-Day veteran aged 97 cycling 11km to honour fallen heroes

A D-Day veteran from Worthing who served as a despatch rider in the Second World War is cycling 11k at the age of 97 to honour our fallen heroes and raise money for Care for Veterans.

Len Gibbon lives at the charity’s hospital home in Boundary Road and is hoping to raise £111 with his Race for Remembrance 2021 challenge.

He is using a static bike and plans to complete the distance over two days. Along with several other resident veterans, he will cross the finish line on November 11 in a group physiotherapy session.

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Len said: “I’ve done 4.5k in 15 minutes so I should be all right for our 11k. Join me for the Race for Remembrance.”

During Remembrance, 97-year-old Normandy veteran Len Gibbon is taking on the challenge of cycling 11km to honour our fallen heroes and raise funds for Care for Veterans in Worthing

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More than 60 people have signed up so far for the virtual challenge, organised by Care for Veterans to raise funds to support its work providing care and rehabilitation to physically disabled ex-service personnel and their families.

Len came to live at the hospital home in December 2019, after having several falls at home. His walking had become unbalanced and he realised he needed extra help.

Len loves dancing, especially the cha-cha-cha, so the charity’s physiotherapists incorporate this into his sessions.

D-Day veteran Len Gibbon was a despatch rider in the Second World War

Speaking of his time in France during the Second World War, Len said: “There were plenty of us out there that did a lot more than I did. I was a despatch rider. I remember I was in Hamburg, all alone on my motorbike on the autobahn.

“The woods were alight, and ammunition dumps were exploding everywhere, when a Spitfire plane flies down so low it almost hits the ground, then pulls up, makes a loop, and when it comes back down, the pilot opens his cockpit and cheers. It was then I knew that war had finished. I stood up on my bike and cheered.”

To sign up for Race for Remembrance 2021, visit www.careforveterans.org.uk/RforR. It costs £15 and all participants will receive a medal.

Care for Veterans is currently caring for residents aged from 35 to 98 at its 60-bed hospital home. The majority have Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or a degenerative neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s.