“My comrades-in-arms across the Armed Forces are fighters by definition, fighters by nature. The Endeavour Fund aims to reignite that fighting spirit, and inspire those who have served their country to go on and achieve great things.”  HRH PRINCE HENRY OF WALES

One of our wonderful Old Verlucians, Andy Wing (OV78) recently attended the 2019 Endeavour Awards Ceremony. From mountaineering to motorsports, surfing to sailing, the Endeavour Fund supports exciting and fulfilling opportunities for armed forces personnel and veterans experiencing injury or sickness during service. How did Andy end up being involved? And, how did he become the person to produce the Henry Worsley Award illustration?

The explorer, Seb Coulthard, Royal Navy, asked Andy to produce a condolence card for Mrs Worsley after Lt Col Worsley died during his solo crossing of the Antarctic. Mrs Worsley contacted Andy with a view to producing an illustration for the Henry Worsley Endeavour Award. The recipient of the award is someone who is considered to have emulated Henry's example of excelling in either sport or an adventurous challenge in the face of adversity, whilst concurrently helping others to also succeed in their ambitions. 

British explorer Henry Worsley, who sadly died on 24 January while attempting a solo expedition of Antarctica, was due to give a lecture on his expedition locally, at Horningsham Village Hall in April 2016.  Headmaster, Mark Mortimer and Headmaster of Wellington College, Julian Thomas, had originally planned to attend Henry’s lecture together. Ros Algar, a Warminster School parent, committed to continue the fundraiser, got in touch and it was at this point the two Head's stepped in and told the audiences about their own adventures allowing the evening to go ahead. The event allowed fundraising to continue for the Henry Worsley Playground Appeal, which raised over £10,000.

To date, there have been three recipients of the Endeavour Award, Neil Herritage, Sean Gane and Shaun Pascoe. Andy said “It has been a real honour and a privilege to have been able to provide an illustration to the award winners. They are inspiring and also ambassadors for the Endeavour Fund, something which was very close to Henry's heart. I was aware as a pupil, the legacy of sacrifice made during both World Wars through the stained glass window in the Minster Church of St Denys, dedicated to former pupils and Masters who had fallen. The poignancy of this fact was not lost on me since I had lived and walked the same corridors as these men”.

Andy also went on to say, “during my tenure, the School had created a Combined Cadet Force, the instructors were regular Army Soldiers who worked at the School of Infantry. Through their management and teaching I was imbued with the military ethos, self-discipline, teamwork, and associated skills which I would carry for the rest of my life. Although I did not join the military, I maintained an interest and became an illustrator supplying detailed illustrations to all three services. This has provided me with an opportunity to assist in charity events that support injured servicemen and women. I was delighted to be able to help support the charity event organised by Charlotte Brumby (OV17) for Walking With The Wounded, since it felt like the ripples from the pebble thrown into the lake of my life all those years ago, had finally come home. I am grateful to the School for the opportunity afforded by both the CCF, and the people who came to speak to us regarding their experiences. It has been and continues to be, a humbling experience to be able, in some small part to assist the military family and help promote the Endeavour Fund and the memory of Colonel Henry Worsley”.

Stella Aldridge, Deputy Head of Development and Alumni