Employees from one Suffolk company spend their lunch breaks walking to remember the fallen
- Credit: Archant
While 100 years ago, troops were prepared to march great distances in Europe to defend Britain against the Germans, in Bury St Edmunds, staff have been walking 100 miles during their lunchbreaks in their memory.
A team from the technology supplies company Antistat made the pledge to walk the 100 miles throughout October to raise awareness for the British Legions’ #ThankYou100 Campaign.
The company’s head of marketing, Matthew Grant, said the campaign resonated with the struggle of the troops of the Royal Engineers tunnelling companies, who were specialist units of the Corps of Engineers, that were formed to dig attacking tunnels under enemy lines. British troops faced constant and extreme danger from tunneling under enemy territory from electric conductivity from high explosives.
Mr Grant made the walk in memory of his great Grandfather, Matthew Relihan, fought with the Gloucestershire Regiment who served in France, Flanders, Italy, Gallipoli, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia and Salonika. The regiment lost a total of 8,100 men killed and winning 72 different battle honours including four awards of the Victoria Cross.
Antistat claims that the campaign has galvanised a great deal of support from their staff, who like most UK workers, default to doing very little activity at lunchtimes.
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Managing director John Hensley said “Not everyone can fit exercise in before or after work, and walking at lunch should be something we all do, from the boardroom down.
“As a progressive employer, we’re encouraging our workers to step away from their desks at lunchtime. The desk will still be there when they get back from lunch.”
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Antistat, which specialises in electrostatic discharge protection products, is also keen to promote a healthy, balanced diet and move away from the traditional ‘bottom drawer of crisps & chocolate’ that most employers provide to staff - and promote to a more balanced office snack options with free fresh fruit for their employees as an alternative.
Antistat has been supplying the defence sectors and armed forces, electronics, medical, aerospace & automotive sectors since it formed more than 30 years ago.
The Royal Legion’s ‘Thank You’ campaign aims to honour not only the 1.1-million British and Commonwealth Armed Forces who lost their lives in the First World War, but also those who played their part on the home front, and those who returned to build a better life for the benefit of generations to come.