Fifers in Cycle of Remembrance to Somme

25th June 2016 Fraser Bedwell

A team of daring Fifers have embarked on a fundraising cycling challenge to the Somme battlefield in France. Departing from Sainsbury’s in Leven on the morning of Armed Forces Day, The Cycle of Remembrance will see the team raise vital funds for Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland and lay a wreath at the war grave of a First World War Victoria Cross winner, Robert Dunsire, from Buckhaven. The men will arrive in France in time to attend the anniversary commemoration ceremony at the Somme on 1 July.

The team, known as the Flying Fifers, are from the Levenmouth area and have raised more than £11,000 for Poppyscotland this year – through the Edinburgh Marathon, Tough Mudder, cycling events, bungee jumps, bag packs, store collections and social events. They have been raising funds for the charity since 2013 when two of their number, Sandy Cunningham (49), who works for Scottish Water, and veteran Thomas Bremner (43), formerly of the Royal Corps of Signals, successfully completed the first Cycle of Remembrance from Leven to the Menin Gate in Belgium. Combined with other fundraising, the pair raised an incredible £20,000.

New to the team are Sandy and Thomas’s friends John Duffin (49), who works at Diageo, and Mark Young (48), from Scottish Water. The four will be in safe hands with their support driver Steven Bone (35) who was also on the first challenge.

Speaking of the challenge, Thomas said: “This year sees the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and we thought it would be fitting to commemorate this significant anniversary as part of our challenge. We are continually trying to raise funds for Poppyscotland, a charity which looks after our Servicemen and women who, for whatever reason, find themselves in need of help when they leave the Armed Forces. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported us and we’re looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

The men also wanted to commemorate someone locally who had served in the First World War. Sandy said: “The Methil Heritage Centre was trying to get recognition for a local man, Robert Dunsire, who won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Loos. He was sadly killed in action at Mazingarbe, France, and is buried there. We will be laying a wreath at Robert’s grave as a tribute.”

Marianne Craig, Events Fundraiser at Poppyscotland, said: “We extend a huge thank you to the Flying Fifers. Their significant fundraising achievements over the years have meant that we are able to deliver even more life-changing support to those in the Armed Forces community who need it most. Their commitment, enthusiasm and generosity are incredible and they really are an inspiration!”

To donate to the challenge go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/flyingfifers2015

More info at www.facebook.com/cycleofremembrance