Preston soldier to do 48-hour march in memory of mum who died from coronavirus

Posted on - 19th March, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Garstang, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, Wyre News
James Kirby in his uniform.
James Kirby in his uniform.

Soldier James Kirby is raising money by marching from Preston Flag Market at the Cenotaph to ITC Catterick and back for his mum who died due to Covid.


James will be wearing his duke of Lancaster’s head dress in honour of his mum.

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The march will take 24-hours to get there by foot and James will be marching for two days, one day to get there and one day to get back – 12 hours each way.

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It will take place on Friday 30 April and will raise money for BLESMA (which supports veterans who have lost limbs).


James said: “I live in Preston when on leave and currently here on compassionate and literally in the process of arranging mums funeral.

“My mum is from Preston she was 59 years old and passed away 2 days ago from Covid and diabetes problems. She was well known and liked in Preston and other than the last few years where she was in a care home in Southport she spent most of her life in Preston.

“She was a great woman and experienced many hardships and physical issues in her life, diagnosed with diabetes, found in a coma at the age of 12 and lived with it throughout her life resulting in her having both legs amputated on separate occasions and suffering a stroke due to the effects of diabetes within the last ten years.”

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James’ mum Denise died on Friday 12 March and James is aiming to finish his challenge by 1:35am as this is the time Denise died.

James Kirby with his mum Denise.
James Kirby with his mum Denise.

On the journey James will be accompanied by volunteers who will complete separate legs of the march.

This will include a team of Queen’s Lancashire veterans, infantry officers, corporals sergeants and also James’ u11s football team he manages Ribbleton FC Neons and his adult team Ribchester Rovers.

James added: “I’m a serving corporal from Preston with the second battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment, local Lancashire infantry regiment and I’m currently based in Catterick at infantry training centre training recruits as a section commander.

“[My mum] loved music and she adored my two younger brothers and my two young children.

“I’ve chosen BLESMA because I’m a serving soldier and it supports serving and ex soldiers who have suffered with loss of limbs and eyes etc and helps them with help they may need and support and with my mum having had her legs amputated and needing assistance like mobility and help and nursing it seems the right charity to smash the miles out for also the help they do for servicemen and veterans and their families is amazing.”

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James’ fundraiser has already raised more than £1,700 in just a few days and has a target of £5,000.

You can donated to his Just Giving page here.

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Proud Preston. This, and many stories like it, show how the people of Preston are making a difference. Our Proud Preston section showcases all the charitable, kind, uplifting and great things about our city and the people who live here. #ProudPreston is alive and well, and there’s much to celebrate and be proud of, despite the challenging times we all face.

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