Explorer and wounded soldiers get set to leave for Antarctic expedition

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: READY:The Prince of Wales,meets injured Dragoons L/Cpl Nick Webb, Cpl Robert Harmer and Capt Adam Crookshank. READY:The Prince of Wales,meets injured Dragoons L/Cpl Nick Webb, Cpl Robert Harmer and Capt Adam Crookshank.

Explorer David Hempleman-Adams will set off on Saturday on an expedition including three wounded soldiers on a charity trek to the South Pole.

Mr Hempleman-Adams, who lives in Box, will be leading Captain Adam Crookshank, of Devizes and Corporal Robbie Harmer and Lance Corporal Nick Webb of the Royal Dragoon Guards.

They will be dragging sleds filled with food and equipment 140 miles across the ice, just as Captain Scott and his team did 100 years ago.

The three soldiers are from the same regiment as Captain Lawrence Oates, who famously left the tent on the ill-fated expedition. Also on the team will be Matthew Pinsent, the Olympic rower, and Malcolm Walker, the chief executive of Iceland supermarkets.

Mr Hempleman-Adams recently went with the soldiers to the London home of the Prince of Wales, their regiment’s colonel-in-chief, who offered them a glass of champagne to toast the success of their trek.

The expedition aims to raise more than £1m which will be split between the Alzheimer's Research UK and Walking With The Wounded, which funds the re-training and re-education of wounded servicemen.

Mr Hempleman-Adams, who has been to the poles on 14 previous occasions, said: “All trips are different but this is different.

“I know I can survive most temperatures and look after myself but it’s a different thing when you’re leading a group of alpha males, and we’ve got one female doctor too. They’re all competitive and my biggest fear is they will go out to try to prove to each other how fit they are. “So my role is to try and slow them down and gel as a team.”

The equipment for the challenge has already been sent out. The team will then spend a few days acclimatising on the Union Glacier in Antarctica before setting off.

Depending on the weather, Mr Hempleman-Adams hopes to start the trek on November 25 or 26, and reach the South Pole within 14 to 16 days. He said: “The wind chill can easily go down to minus 40 degrees. That’s one of the problems with the walking wounded boys. Because of their injuries you don’t know what the cold will do to their injuries.”

Sponsor the expedition and follow its progress at www.footstepsoflegends.org.uk

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