ARMY veteran Mark Newton is travelling around towns throughout west Wiltshire on his mobility scooter this month in a mission to catalogue the 350,000 plus war graves around Great Britain.

Mr Newton, 49, who is from Swansea, started his journey in Wiltshire in January and so far has visited graves in Marlborough, Salisbury and Tidworth, as well as Beanacre, Atworth, Shaw and Melksham.

He served with 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards and suffered a life-changing injury to his right leg while based in Cyprus in 1991. He received support from the Royal British Legion, 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards and the Army Benevolent fund.

Since 2011 he has been travelling the country on his scooter raising money for those causes, as well as the Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and Help for Heroes, with more than £40,000 raised so far.

Mr Newton, who was in Holt and Semington last Friday (March 6) said: “I started photographing and documenting war graves around the country in January for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

“I have photographed around 2,000 war graves so far and I will probably be in Wiltshire until the end of the month. I always get a lot of support when I travel, with people beeping their horns in support.

“With all the First World War centenary commemorations that have been taking place, this seemed like an ideal challenge to take on and I think it is important to remember those who have lost their lives fighting for this country.

“All the images I take will be sent to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Imperial War Museum, although if regiments or units require them I'll be happy to send them copies as well.”

His mobility scooter, which only reaches a top speed of 8mph, pulls along a trailer which he sleeps in every night with his two cats Missy and Smudge, which travel everywhere with him.

He added: “I have got to do something as I have a very low boredom threshold. If I’m going to raise money for charities, I don’t want to just stand on a street corner with a bucket, I want to make it worth it.”

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