A team of 11 friends from all over the UK who met at University are getting together in December to commemorate the 70th anniversary of one of World War II’s most successful acts of sabotage which took place in the Telemark region of occupied Norway.
Led by Exeter based Jeff Nicholls, a business development manager at Michelmores Solicitors, the team will undertake a challenging trek and ski across the Peak District National Park to mark the success of Operation Gunnerside, the culmination of several missions to destroy a heavy water plant in Telemark and in so doing disrupt Nazi Germany’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
Jeff Nicholls said: “Each year get together to undertake a challenge in the Peak District and to do something for charity. The story of Telemark is as much about the endurance and outdoor skills that the British trained Norwegian commandos demonstrated as the actual act of sabotage itself.
“Because of this we will be raising funds for C-Group, the Royal Marines charity which mobilises the business and wider communities to support wounded Royal Marines and Marines in need whilst they are serving and in transition to civilian life.
“We base ourselves in Hope Valley in the Peak District National Park and nearby is the Lafarge cement works which has reminded us of the heavy water plant at Telemark since we started meeting there so we hope to get some great photographs to support our fundraising efforts.
“The event takes place in December and if there is snow in the Peak District we’ll Nordic ski across the Park and raise the Norwegian Flag which the Royal Norwegian Embassy has sent us in support of our efforts.”
Last year Jeff and his pals re-enacted the last 12 miles of Captain Scott’s ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole and raised over £1000 for the Peak District Mountain Rescue Service.
The last of the Telemark operations actually took place in early 1943, but today’s Heroes will be commemorating it between 7-9th December.
Lt. Colonel Sharky Ward OBE, Royal Marines, Director of Operations, C-group added:
“We are really delighted to learn about Jeff and the other latter day 'Heroes of Telemark' raising funds for C Group. The innovative ways that individuals and groups find ways to raise money for our cause never ceases to amaze me and we are all very grateful that the feats of others can remain in the hearts and minds of those prepared to go that extra mile to support us.”
Anyone wishing to support C- Group through this charitable event can visit www.bmycharity.com/theheroesoftelemark or buy their Christmas shopping via www.givingabit.com