The Seventh Annual Poppy Fund Remembrance Dog Walk will take place at Cassiobury Park next month in memory of three servicemen who died in Afghanistan.
The walk is organised by the families of Captain Tom Sawyer of 29CDO Royal Artillery from Watford, Corporal Christopher Harrison Royal Marine from Garston and Private Tom Lake of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment from Northwood, who were killed in action between 2009-2011.
Christopher’s dad Martin reflected on what the walk means for him and the families of the other soldiers: “It’s very important for all of us, as parents, to keep our son’s memories alive. And my wife and I are really proud of our son.”
He also explained how the three families came together to create the walk seven years ago: “We came across the Sawyer family at a remembrance function at Watford Town Hall, their son had been dead for a year and our son had just died. We found out all about them and found that we had a lot in common… a year later Carol Lakes’ son was killed in Afgan, so we reached out to her and we became a network of families.
“By chance we realised all of our sons had a common link – a love of dogs.”
Chris’s parents inherited his dog Wilson when he died in 2010, the Sawyers had the daughter, Rosie, from Tom’s dog Kai and, after her son Tom was killed in 2011, Carol Lake bought a dog and named it Tiger after her son’s regiment’s nickname.
Wilson provides a huge comfort for Martin, as do the walks, which are also to raise money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Martin said: “We normally raise about £2,000 and the three families would like to match that effort this year as a sign that the three lads are not forgotten.”
The walk will take place on Sunday, November 4 from 12pm outside Watford Town Hall. It will go at a pace that suits participants and drinks and refreshments will be provided.