World War One Staffordshire Regiment historic hero William Coltman was honoured in a 14 mile walk on 2 August, organised by Derbyshire-based door distributor JB Kind in conjunction with the National Memorial Arboretum and undertaken by more than 50 people.
Lance Corporal William Coltman VC, DCM, MM is still the most decorated other rank in the British Army following recognition for his heroic actions during the assault on the Hindenburg line in October 1918.
JB Kind Doors, managing director James Cadman said: “L/Cpl Coltman’s action make for an inspiring story and illustrates the ongoing courage of our armed forces and national services. As a company with a strong moral compass, we value and respect the commitment of our service men and women, so picking the National Memorial Arboretum as our charity of the year seemed a natural decision.
“During the 14 mile walk, carrying one of our doors in a stretcher style draped in a Staffordshire Regiment flag to respect L/Cpl Coltman’s role as a stretcher bearer, we visited several important and poignant places in William Coltman’s life and passing.
“We were extremely honoured to have been joined by L/Cpl Coltman’s great grandson Phil Coltman, who was kind enough to talk about his Grandfather’s heroic actions in detail as we walked. A personal account from a passionate family member, combined with the significant points along the route, like L/Cpl Colman’s tombstone and memorial tree, really brought home the reality of what William Coltman did for his fellow servicemen (and for our country) and it was a very humbling experience for everyone involved.”
The 50 strong team made up of JB Kind staff, family and friends, as well as volunteers from the Friends of the Arboretum, took turns in carrying one of JB Kind’s 25kg Trent doors, from the company’s River Oak Traditional range, chosen because the team crossed the River Trent as part of the fundraising event.
Cadman continued: “Despite the fact that the walk was for a poignant and serious cause, the team enjoyed sharing the experience, and although we had a few aching muscles in the office the next day, a few miles in the sunshine is nothing in comparison to what William Coltman and his colleagues had to endure in World War One.
“We are pleased that we have been able to raise more than £5000 to help the National Memorial Arboretum raise awareness, through the planned new visitor centre, of the vital part servicemen and women play every day in keeping peace and protecting our lives.
“Our Just Giving page is still open and if you can spare a donation for this very worthy cause, just log on to: https://www.justgiving.com/JB-Kind-Doors-William-Coltman-VC-Walk/