Chester Launches Start of North Wales Legs of Walk on Wales

Chester Launches Start of North Wales Legs of Walk on Wales

Chester Racecourse will host a special free family fun day on 29 August in aid of the
Walk on Wales charitable event.

The aim of Walk on Wales is for 11 relay teams to walk the entire 870 mile Welsh Coast Path to raise £1million for Combat Stress and the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal.

The teams will be carrying with them a specially commissioned silver baton inscribed with the names of those 50 Welsh Guardsmen who have died whilst serving their country. In a journey of remembrance and thanks, the baton will travel the entire length of the stunning Wales Coast Path before arriving back in Cardiff.

Walk on Wales is being launched in Cardiff on the 25th of August when the first team will carry the ceremonial silver baton to Chepstow. There, a cycling team lead by Colonel Hugh Bodington will bike the baton overnight on the 28th of August to Chester. They will be greeted at Chester Racecourse the next day during a fun-filled free family event, where the baton will be passed on to the next team.

Leg 2 is being led by Garrison Sergeant Major Billy Mott, the senior Sergeant Major in the British Army, who was born in Ellesmere Port. His family subsequently moved to Chester. Billy joined the Welsh Guards in 1979, whilst his middle brother Nick followed him into the regiment a year later, and then younger brother John in 1985. In 1982, Billy and Nick served in the Falklands, and both were on board the ship RFA Sir Galahad when it was hit by a rocket fired by the Argentine Airforce. Billy Mott will be joined on his Leg by his two brothers, Major Nick Mott and ex-Regimental Sergeant Major John Mott.

Billy Mott has served for 35 years in the Army across the world, including Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Kenya, USA, Canada, Belize, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Jamaica and Jordan. He was awarded the OBE in 2007 for his work organising State Ceremonial events as well as setting up and organising the repatriation of fallen servicemen from the Iraq War. In 2012 he was awarded the MVO for his personal service to HM The Queen organising the Armed Forces Parade and the Diamond Jubilee.

The Mott brothers represent the very finest qualities of British servicemen. Whilst it is not unusual to have brothers serving together in a small family regiment, it is highly out of the ordinary for all to have served with such distinction. Major Nick Mott served in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan where he was Quartermaster to Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, the commanding officer of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards who was sadly killed in action in 2009. John Mott also served in Iraq and Afghanistan finishing his service career as Regimental Sergeant Major of the Corps of Army Music, Netherhall.

GSM Billy Mott is honoured to be leading Leg 2, "I was overwhelmed by the fantastic idea of Welsh Guardsmen - serving or retired - their families and friends, or anyone who wanted to joining in with Walk on Wales.

“The Leg which I am leading is the nearest to my birthplace of Ellesmere Port. I will be walking with my two brothers, along with our cousin, who is also a military man. We’re honoured to be joined by the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross in over 30 years - Corporal Johnson Beharry VC. And another well-known face has asked if he can walk with us too - Huw Edwards the BBC newsreader.

“I’m keen for as many people as possible to join us on our walk, whether it be for an hour, a day or the entire second Leg between Chester and Bangor. ”