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How This WWII Vet Stays Fit While Raising Money For Charity

He has raised over $50,000 in under four years. 
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A 100-year-old Second World War veteran has walked hundreds of miles around his garden to raise money for charity after being inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore.

War hero Lance Corporal Harold Jones laps his back garden 30 times every day in all weather conditions and has been doing so since 2020.

The great-grandfather-of-six started walking circuits around his bungalow during lockdown after being inspired by the efforts of the late Captain Tom.

As the anniversary of his death approaches in two weeks’ time, Howard is still racking up the steps in honor of the Captain who touched the hearts of the nation.

The 100-year-old Army veteran has walked hundreds of miles around his home after being inspired by the late Captain Sir Tom Moore. PHOTO BY ANITA MARIC/SWNS

The centenarian has now clocked up an impressive 41,550 laps – 661 miles in total, which is the equivalent of walking from his home near Birmingham to Germany.

The spritely pensioner reckons the secret to his long-lasting fitness is down to his time in the Armed Forces – setting him up with a “high level of endurance”.

Harold, who served in the British Army from 1942 until 1947, was stationed first in India and then in Burma during WW2.

He began fundraising for the MND Association after losing several friends to the disease and has since raised over £43,000 in just under four years.

Dad-of-two Harold, of Sutton Coldfield, West Mids., said: “Captain Tom did inspire me but I’ve now walked a far greater distance than he did in the end.

“I always refer to myself as Lance Corporal Harold. Captain Tom was a captain so I thought I’d go to the other end of the spectrum.

“One other reason I started was to keep fit and keep moving. With Covid we had to stay in and all sorts of things.

War hero Lance Corporal Harold Jones laps his back garden 30 times every day in all weather conditions and has been doing so since 2020. PHOTO BY ANITA MARIC/SWNS 

“I saw it was what Captain Tom had done to raise money. I had lost three friends with Motor Neurone Disease and I thought I’d do the same.

“It has become a daily routine ever since.

“I set out to try and get to £1,000. I didn’t know how people would respond. I reached a grand in a year. When I reached £10,000 a friend doubled it.

“I’ve done 41,550 laps. It goes down the side of the bungalow and around. I do it every day and I keep a record.

“It’s the walking that keeps me fit. I previously broke my back in three places but my ankles, knee joints and hips are perfect.

“The training for the army set up the ability to endure because we endured a lot in the army. Determination and resilience is something you’re taught in the army.

“You grit your teeth. I put on an anorak, pull it over my ears and I’m out there.

“I walk in the morning after breakfast in whatever weather, you’ve got to get up and go out.

“You have to have the determination to get up and go. That’s so important.”

The veteran raises money for the MND charity through not only his sponsored laps but through choir events at his local church and bucket collections.

He has since been awarded a Points of Light award by the Prime Minister for his valiant efforts after the MND Association put his name forward.

Harold added: “I was a salesman, and I look for opportunities. I give out buckets for collection money for MND.

“I got a concert at my local Methodist church and charged £10 a ticket with 250 people turning up.

“It was put forward by MND and I got notified of the award and now I’m awaiting a certificate.

“It said I would get a letter from the Prime Minister thanking me, he’s busy of course. I’m told there’s a certificate now. The local MP Andrew Mitchell is doing it.

“Even at my age now I try to help others, mainly with telephone calls.

“I use the time since Covid to keep in contact with other people. I’m always prepared to listen to them. I think that very much helps.

“I don’t get out so much now, I rely on friends.”

The veteran served in the British Army from 1942 and worked mainly as an auditor in the Royal Pay Corps until he was discharged in 1947.

Harold added: “I served in India. I remember on my mother’s birthday we sailed from Scotland down the Atlantic, wondering where we would be going.

“We didn’t know if we’d get there because of the U-boats. It took six weeks. We had six weeks at sea.

“The ships weren’t like anything like they were today, we crammed in them. People slept anyway. That was 1944.

“From India I went out to Burma. My experience with the Japanese was taking them to prison camps. They did gardening.

“I used to carry a rifle with nothing in it, in the back of a lorry, transporting prisoners.

“I also walked a 92-mile hike in a week, just after having recovered from diphtheria, so maybe that helped set me up for walking these laps I do every day.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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