'Sapper' over Sapperton
Former soldier Doug Hamilton–Cox is currently walking the route of the Stroudwater Navigation and Thames & Severn Canal to raise funds for the Help for Heroes Charity.
Doug is a 69 year old former ‘Sapper’ who enlisted as a boy soldier when he was 15. He carried out his apprenticeship in the Royal Engineers and then served for nine years doing duty in Malaya and Thailand.
On his return in 1971 Doug settled in Devon and started his own digger company, which he runs from Bridford, a small rural village on the outskirts of Dartmoor.
Walking for the wounded
Since 2009 Doug’s Walking for the wounded routes have been many and varied. In 2013 he took to the canal towpaths. His log book now contains an impressive list of many separate canals. The Stroudwater Navigation and Thames & Severn Canals will take the total to twenty two!
Research & reconnaissance
The adage that ‘time spent on research & reconnaissance is rarely wasted’ played its part in Doug’s endeavours when he recently called in at the Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre.
It was here that Trust Company Secretary Jack Telling provided Doug with a detailed route briefing. Jack was well placed to deliver this as he and his wife Pam walked the entire route of the Cotswold Canals early in 2014. The purpose of that walk was to place the Thames & Severn Way Route markers along the currently accessible route.
Nicholson Waterways Guide
Jack also presented Doug with a complimentary copy of the new Nicholson Waterways Guide ‘Severn, Avon & Birmingham’. The guide has recently been updated to include 23 well researched pages on the Cotswold Canals.
We recently checked on Doug’s progress and he commented… “You have certainly taken on a big job here; because of my army experience and commercial use of heavy earth moving plant I find myself working out how the job will be done. It passes the time as I walk!”
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