The chairman of Okehampton’s Royal British Legion (RBL) completed a 38-mile walk across Dartmoor on Sunday (June 4)to raise money for the branch.

Darren Kelly crossed the finish line outside the RBL club on Station Road after spending four days walking across Dartmoor to raise funds to support the armed forces community in the area.

After completing the journey with his dog Bruce, who accompanied him for most of the walk, said that the challenge had pushed him to his limits due to heat, exhaustion and even dehydration, but that he would do it again in a heartbeat in order to help those less fortunate than himself.

He added: ‘It was very very hot and there was a moment when I thought “I could go home now.” But I thought, “no, I said I was going to do it so I’m going to give it a go. It took me back to my infantry days - just one step in front of the other. If it wasn’t for the army training I might have given in.

‘But, I’d do it again tomorrow. I hope to make it an annual thing. It’s excellent for helping with depression, facing your own fears, confidence building and all those positive feelings. It gets you out to test yourself and it’s for helping people, people who are struggling or less fortunate.’

Mr Kelly also offered his thanks to a wide range of people and businesses who supported him throughout his trek including Chris Bourne, who helped plan the route and worked as safety advisor. Mr Kelly added that he was ‘an anchor’ throughout the journey.

He also thanked Karen Hutchings and Brenda Bourne worked as part of the support team and Joe Endacott, the branch community support co-ordinator for all his work behind the scenes to publicise the event.

Mr Kelly undertook the challenge after finding he was 38 miles short of a 121-mile walk (the distance between all the cenotaphs in London) in which he took part in November last year to raise money for the RBL.

He decided he would complete the remaining 38 miles in a separate challenge and in honour of veteran and past Okehampton branch standard bearer Mark Murdoch, who passed away in December. Mr Murdoch was planning to complete the walk beside Mr Kelly.

The RBL supports serving and ex-serving personnel of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army, Royal Air Force, Reservists and their families from their first day of service to long after their life in the armed forces.

The charity helps veterans adapt to civilian life, and helps with physical and mental wellbeing, financial and employment support, care and independent living, local community connections and expert guidance.

The RBL was established in 1921 and today has 210,000 members and 50,000 volunteers. To donate to Mr Kelly’s fundraiser, visit the GoFundMe page at: