A father and son from Tadley will look to improve the connection with the Armed Forces that runs through their family on a special bike ride next week.
Doug Vaughan, 54, is part of four different generations of his family to have fought for his country, with his brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather all serving over the years.
Only a medical condition stopped 19-year-old son Sam from including his name on that long list, as his dreams of following in his father’s footsteps were sadly ended when he was diagnosed with epilepsy seven years ago.
But the teenager has found another way to carry on the military tradition by persuading his dad to join him on a 250-mile cycle to France to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in the First World War.
And after witnessing him overcome the struggles brought on by his medication, Doug expressed his pride in his son for organising the mammoth ride.
He said: “This was all my son’s idea.
“He was really disappointed when it sunk in that he couldn’t join the army.
“I’m extremely proud of him, and the fact that he’s put all of his problems behind him is a credit to him.”
Doug and Sam, who is a student at the University of Liverpool, will set off on their three-day trip from the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth next Wednesday, before then heading towards the Memorial to the Missing in Thiepval.
In addition to paying their respects, the duo are also hoping to give something extra back to the military by raising funds for SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity.
Sam said: “The Somme touched the lives, minds and families of so many around the country, I feel this is a good way of remembering its impact.
“This will be a tough event, but I feel as we know the importance of where we will be in what we will be doing, this will not concern us.”
The final day of the ride will see them visit the Memorial in Pozieres, with Doug, who is cycling in memory of grandad Robert Davies, who served and was injured in France, admitting it would be a “special day” for the family.
He added: “This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done as father and son, and we’re both really looking forward to it.
“I don’t know about getting to the end before Sam, but I’ve still got it in my legs, I think.”
To donate to the duo, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Samuel-Vaughan1.