Father and son Ride to the Somme together
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Doug Vaughan, and his 19 year old son Sam will be setting off next week to join hundreds of cyclists as they Ride to the Somme to commemorate the cycling soldiers of WW1. The family have a strong military connection as the past four generations have fought for their country, including Doug’s brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Doug’s son Sam was keen to join too, but was unfortunately prevented when he was diagnosed with epilepsy seven years ago. Now, the ride has given Sam a way to carry on the military tradition, after he persuaded his Dad to do the ride. Next Wednesday, the pair will begin their journey, cycling 250-miles to France to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in the First World War.
Doug is hugely proud of his son’s determination for organising and taking on the long ride, especially after witnessing him overcome the struggles brought on by his medication.
He said: “This was all my son’s idea. He was really disappointed when it sunk in that he couldn’t join the army. I’m extremely proud of him, and the fact that he’s put all of his problems behind him is a credit to him.”
The pair will set off on their three-day trip from the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth next Wednesday, before then heading towards the Memorial to the Missing in Thiepval with the rest of the riders and Team SSAFA. As well as paying their respects to the fallen, in particular Doug’s grandad Robert Davies, who served and was injured in France, they are also raising money for SSAFA.
He added: “This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done as father and son, and we’re both really looking forward to it.