240km relay fundraiser commemorates L’Entente Cordiale and D-Day anniversaries

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15 April 2024

Flight Lieutenant Christian Gerrett and others set off tomorrow (April 16) on a unique fundraiser: a 240-kilometre relay over 24 hours from Orléans - Bricy Air Base to the British Embassy in Paris and back.

Flt Lt Gerrett, from North Yorkshire, is attached to Escadron de Transport 1/61 Touraine (ET 1/61 Touraine) based at Orléans - Bricy Air Base. With other past and present members of ET 1/61 Touraine, he aims to complete the audacious challenge to benefit SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity in France and the French charity La Fondation des Œuvres sociales de l'Air (FOSA).

He takes up the story, saying: “2024 marks not just the 120th anniversary of the signing of the Entente Cordiale, but also 90 years of the Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace, 80 years since ET 1/61 Touraine was founded, and of course the 80th anniversary of D-Day.”

Explaining why the two charities were selected, Flt Lt Gerrett said: “SSAFA was chosen due to a speech given by Branch Chairman SSAFA France Keith Cima at an event in Paris last September. It’s a charity close to the heart of many military personnel and I wanted to specifically help those SSAFA dependents who are based in France.

For FOSA, we wanted to again choose a charity which is important for our French colleagues, and this is the one which they believe does a lot for the French military.

And yes, while an arduous challenge, it will be nothing compared to the suffering endured by many, so please help us in our attempt to raise money for FOSA and SSAFA.”

 

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