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My uncle died on the Sir Galahad... now I'm honouring his memory.

Byline: GARY PORTER

A TEENAGE sprinter will swap his running shoes for walking boots today when he takes part in a charity event in memory of his uncle who was killed during the Falklands War.

Shane Hughes, 15, from Johnstown, Wrexham, is urging youngsters to join him for Walk on Wales which is being staged to honour the contribution of the 50 Welsh Guardsmen who have died on active service since the end of World War II and to raise PS1m to support serving and veteran soldiers.

His uncle, Neil Hughes, died when the Argentinians bombed the Sir Galahad in 1982. He was just 22. Walk on Wales, which started on August 25, will see 11 relay teams tackle the 870-mile Wales Coast Path in aid of the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and Combat Stress.

It lasts until November 2 passing through Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Gwynedd, Anglesey and down the coast to Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff Bay.

At the heart of the walk is the silver baton inscribed with the names of the 50 Welsh Guardsmen and each day will be dedicated to one of them.

Shane, who attends Ysgol Rhiwabon Secondary School and is a member of Wrexham Athletic Club, is taking part in the 15-mile South Stack to Four Mile Bridge stretch today, which has been dedicated to his uncle Neil, who was from Wrexham.

He said: "Walk on Wales is so important to me. I get to walk in my Uncle Neil's memory and help those in need now.

"My uncle died several years before I was born and it makes me sad that I never got to know him.

"What I do know about him though - and there are a lot of stories and photos - come from my dad and grandmother who are both excited about me taking part for such a brilliant cause."

Each year Shane and his family attend the Falklands Reunion held at the parish church in Wrexham for a Ceremony of Remembrance followed by a memorial to honour those close to them.

With Falklands Veterans having had very little support and Shane himself keen to join the RAF, he added: "I would like to think that I would have a support network if I ever experienced problems in the future and doing things like Walk on Wales is such a great way of giving support and raising awareness. I can't wait to start walking."

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Stepping out: Shane Hughes' uncle Neil Hughes died after the attack on the Sir Galahad during the Falklands War
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 7, 2013
Words:423
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