GALLERY: Outwell scout leader lays wreath at uncle’s memorial during 100km walk along First World War trenches

Helen standing in the trenches at Vimy Ridge.

Helen standing in the trenches at Vimy Ridge. - Credit: Archant

A scout troop leader laid a wreath in memory of her uncle who was killed in battle during a 100km trench walk.

Helen Seims, 61, of Outwell, was part of a group which set off on Thursday from the Lochnagar Crater on the Somme battlefields and arrived at Ypres on Saturday.

Mrs Seims laid a wreath in memory of Betram Wadlow who died aged 18 on the frontline in the First World War.

Uncle Bertram, who served in the London Regiment, 9th Queen Victoria’s Rifles, died on the September 15 1916, the first day Britain mobilized the tanks. He is remembered on the war memorial at Thiepval.

Bertram went to war in place of his older brother Harry (Helen’s uncle), who had just got married, so he would not be taken away from his new wife and to minimise the risk of her being widowed.


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Mrs Seims said: “It was amazing. It was tiring, hard on the feet and I could not believe how hot it was, but everyone completed the challenge.

“As a child I was always told that my uncle Bertram was killed in World War One and that he was the second oldest in the family.

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“I have a framed picture and his three medals from my parents house.

“As a girl guide and lately as a scout leader I have attended many Remembrance Day Parades.

“Last year I thought I should celebrate his life with a possible visit to where he was buried or remembered.

“It was emotional to gather for the last post in Ypres, our final destination of the walk, 100 years since the first battle of Ypres.”

The gruelling walk was also a personal challenge for Mrs Seims who was struck down with pneumonia in December 2012.

Mrs Seims hopes to raise more than £1,600 for soldiers charity ABF. You can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/Helen-Seims/

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