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It’s blazing saddles for Gosport submariners

By Matthew Hibberd

A PAIR of enthusiastic submariners have taken to their bicycles to support and raise awareness of the charity Military vs Cancer.

Chief Petty Officer Andy Leonard (Institute of naval Medicine) and Petty Officer Stuart Dodd (HMS Sultan) undertook a 210-mile cycle ride from HMS Raleigh, in Cornwall, to the Submarine Museum, in Gosport, with fellow submariner and support driver WO2 Alexander (Midge) Ure (HMS Sultan).

Stopping at military sites, including RNAS Yeovilton and HMS Sultan along the way, their endeavours raised a total of £1,129 for the charity, with Military vs Cancer chairman David Bathgate and events and fundraising manager Wayne Dawson presented with a cheque at HMS Sultan.

Royal Navy Warrant Officer Bathgate formed Military vs Cancer after he lost several close family members, including his brother, to cancer. The charity aims to provide relief throughout the British Isles to people in need by reason of ill-health due to the effects of cancer.


Andy said: “Dave is a submariner brother who I have served with many times and I will never forget the day he didn’t sail due to the impact of cancer on his family. Dave works relentlessly to support the fight against this awful disease. He has helped friends of ours that are submariners, supporting them along their journey – whatever the outcome.”

“I made a promise to do something once I had the opportunity to do so and Stuart jumped at the opportunity to join me on this adventure.”

“The ride was four days full-on riding, including well over 13000 feet of climbing through Dartmoor, and hills in Devon and Dorset (to name a few).”

“We have all lost people to cancer and having an empathetic understanding team who know what you are going through is priceless.”

PICTURED: CPO Andy Leonard and PO Stu Dodd presenting a cheque at HMS Sultan to David Bathgate and Wayne Dawson for the charity Military vs Cancer. By PO Photographer Pepe Hogan