Well known in Swanage for his tireless community work, Frank Roberts is setting off on a 96 mile sponsored walk from Exmouth to Swanage to raise money for the Royal Corps of Signals charity and the Swanage Army Link.
As a Royal Corps of Signals veteran, he’d hoped to complete the challenge, along with a team of friends and former soldiers in 2020, to mark the centenary of the Royal Corps of Signals but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to that idea.
Not to be deterred, he starts at 11.30 am on Friday 21st May 2021 at Orcombe Point in Exmouth and is due to end 96 miles later at Old Harry Rocks on Wednesday 26th May 2021 at 7pm.
“Determined to raise some funds”
Frank Roberts said:
“The Royal Corps of Signals was to have celebrated its centenary last June but the Covid-19 pandemic prevented all but a few events from happening – including our Jurassic Coast March from Exmouth to Swanage.
“I have been determined to raise some funds for the Royal Corps of Signals charity based at Blandford Camp in Dorset.
“I would like to give something back to the Royal Corps of Signals charity and also help Swanage Army Link record the contribution made by soldiers in our community since 1983. The funds raised on the Jurassic Coast March will be split equally between these two good causes.”
The share of the money going to Swanage Army Link will help increase the volunteering opportunities at Swanage Railway’s Herston Halt Station for local residents, serving members of HM Armed Forces and military veterans.
Frank Roberts walking the coastline
“Ask the public to support this sponsored walk”
Mayor of Swanage, councillor Mike Bonfield added:
“I’m delighted to be supporting Frank who has always worked tirelessly for so many things around Swanage and I would ask the public to support this sponsored walk along the Jurassic Coast for such worthwhile causes.”
Royal Corps of Signals and Swanage
A special association has grown between the Royal Corps of Signals and Swanage since 1983. During the 1990s, hundreds of soldiers assisted the Swanage Railway with the rebuilding of the line between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Worgret Junction west of Wareham.
Over the years, 140 Royal Corps of Signals soldiers became life members of the Swanage Railway with the corps becoming a corporate member of the heritage steam railway in 1992.
Frank Roberts leads the team of volunteers who regularly clear litter from the verge of the main road coming into Swanage
Swanage Army Link was formed
In 2005, the Royal Corps of Signals was privileged to accept the Liberty of Swanage. As a direct result of the honour, Swanage Army Link was formed to raise the profile of the Royal Corps of Signals and the UK Armed Forces in Swanage.
Since its formation, the Swanage Army Link has supported soldiers working on the Swanage Railway, at the new therapeutic Veterans’ Forge blacksmithing arts and crafts centre near Corfe Castle, as well as at Remembrance Sunday events.
More recently, small teams of Swanage Army Link volunteers have regularly removed litter from a ten mile stretch of the A351 from Wareham to Swanage.
A serving soldier in the Royal Signals for 25 years
Frank Roberts was a serving soldier in the Royal Signals for 25 years, retiring in September 2004. He’s been a Swanage Railway volunteer since 1983 and was instrumental in the start of the link between the town of Swanage and the Royal Corps of Signals.
He’s already raised substantial sums for charity – in 2009 he cycled to Paris with the Royal British Legion and in 2011 he walked the 633 mile south west coast path to raise funds for the Heroes Haven Swanage.
In 2012, Frank had the honour of carrying the Olympic Flame through Swanage – in recognition of his community work – and in 2017 he was made the Volunteer of the Year in Swanage.
Sponsor Frank Roberts and his team by going to his charity donation website