The Forces March is all about the amazing people that form what has become known as 'The FM Family'; a group of remarkable people who unite for an epic challenge in aid of a great cause.
We award trophies to those who stand out the most in a variety of categories. There are no trophies or prizes for being the fastest or the first. The winners are decided by the operations team AND the participants. To be outstanding in such a fantastic group of people takes something very special!
THE BEN PARKINSON TROPHY
for Overcoming Adversity
Named in honour of Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson MBE of 7 Para RHA who was severely injured when his vehicle hit an IED in Afghanistan in 2006. Ben suffered dozens of injuries including the loss of both legs, brain damage, shattered right arm, numerous broken ribs and fingers, ruptured spleen and several fractures to his spine.
Ben has astounded everyone with his remarkable determination and incredible courage. His family were once told that Ben would not be capable of much more than being bed-ridden in a care home.
Ben walked several hundreds yards of The Forces March on prosthetic legs in 2010 and hasn't looked back since. Ben walks unaided, skydives, kayaks and inspires many people around the world!
THE MARK HALE TROPHY
for Most Outstanding Male
Captain Mark Hale served with 2 Rifles. In 2009, Mark hoped to lead a team on the RUN TO PEGASUS event for The Veterans Charity but was unable to take part as his battalion were deployed to Afghanistan. Undeterred, Mark created an event for his team where they used rowing machines to cover the equivalent distance from Sangin to Pegasus Bridge. The team of just 8 personnel covered 5700kms in just 30 days, often completing several hours of rowing after a day of being on patrol!
On 13th August 2009, Mark was tragically killed by an IED whilst trying to save the life of a colleague who had been caught in a previous blast.
Captain Mark Hale was by all accounts, an extraordinary man and this trophy is named in his honour.
THE SARAH BRYANT TROPHY
for Most Outstanding Female
Corporal Sarah Bryant served with the Intelligence Corps and was tragically killed when the Land Rover she was travelling in, hit an IED on 17 June 2008. Sarah was the first female soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.
An outstanding soldier, Sarah showed great skill and dedication during her career and was awarded a medal by the US Army and was described as "a great credit to the British Army.
THE MICHAEL MASSY-BERESFORD TROPHY (formerly known as THE MILITARY CHALLENGE CUP)
for Most Outstanding Military Team
This beautiful trophy is over 160 years old and was donated to The Veterans Charity by Major (retd) Michael Massy-Beresford and his niece, Helen Massy-Beresford. Michael was a Founding Trustee of The Veterans Charity and sadly passed away in September 2022.
The cup is presented to the most outstanding military team on The Forces March.
It is presented for determination, teamwork, fundraising and organisation. It is awarded for esprit de corps, endeavour and spirit.
2010 - 158 Para Provost Coy
2011 – 5 Medical Regt
2012 – 7 RIFLES
2013 – RAF Northolt
2014 - 3 Regt RMP
2015 - 504 Sqn RAF Wittering
2016 - University of Birmingham Air Squadron
2017 - 105 Bn REME
2018 - Defence School of Healthcare
2022 - Commando Logistics Regiment
THE LEE RIGBY CUP
for Community Spirit
Drummer Lee Rigby was a very popular soldier, father and son. His murder caused shock around the world and left his family, friends and colleagues devastated by his loss.
Lee died on the 22nd May 2013 which happened to be the second day of The Forces March that year and the shock of his death was very much felt by everyone on the event that year, especially the many serving personnel that were taking part.
In tribute to Lee and with the blessing of his parents, Lyn and Ian Rigby, this special cup is awarded for Community Spirit on The Forces March. It is awarded to a person or team that has done the most to bring people together or to raise moral, inspire or encourage the best in others. It is very much felt that Lee would naturally have been a multiple recipient of this award.
THE PETER FRENCH AWARD
for Most Outstanding Support Team/Crew Member
Peter French served in the Royal Green Jackets and was a vital part of the operations team on The Forces March from 2010-2013.
Peter's natural leadership skills and outstanding organisational abilities meant that he brought a great deal to the event each year, managing not only the crucial task of water management along the entire route but also securing sponsorship each year of more than 1 TON of bottled water.
Peter was a hugely popular member of the team, much admired for his sense of humour and his dedication to the task.
Peter was unable to attend the event in 2014 and 2015 due to ill health but came to the finish in 2015 to cheer the participants home. He hoped to return in 2016. Sadly, Peter lost his battle with cancer in December 2015.
He is much missed and will be remembered fondly by everyone on the event and this special award is named not only in his honoour but also as a tribute to the fabulous impact he had on the event.
THE VINCE WELLINGTON TROPHY
for Top Fundraising Performance By An Individual
Vince Wellington served in the Royal Green Jackets and was a vital part of the operations team on The Forces March from 2010-2016 and also a long-serving volunteer for the charity helping to raise many thousands of pounds over the years..
Vince's dedication and passion meant that he was a hugely popular members of the team each year. He would constantly asking about the most recent support cases and was always so proud of everything that the charity achieved.
Vince was once again part of the team in 2016 and did everything he could to help despite his failing health - he was never one to "led the lads down". Sadly, Vince passed away after a short stay in a hospice in February 2017.
He is missed by many participants of the march and everyone on the Ops Team. On day 4 of The Forces March 2017, over 130 people stopped in Somerton town centre, a place that Vince was very fond of, to lay a wreath to him on the war memorial. The group was joined by members of Vince's family including his wife, Lesley.
THE PROTECTIVE SECURITY TROPHY
for Top Fundraising Performance By A Team
Protective Security was formed by Paul Parker, a former service Policeman who served 13 years in HM Armed Forces, before being medically retired. Paul has completed The Forces March on four occasions!
In 2016, he donated a spectacular trophy to the event and it is presented each year to the Top Fundraising Performance By A Team.
MOST OUTSTANDING FEMALE
Anna Kampela - RLC
MOST OUTSTANDING MALE
Prince Yeboah-Asuamah - RLC
Mick Massey - RAF
TOP FUNDRAISING TEAM
504 Sqn RAF Wittering
MOST OUTSTANDING CREW
The Marshalls Team - Bravo 1-8
COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
Karen Martin - RAF
TOP FUNDRAISING INDIVIDUAL
Phil Hammond - £17,000!!
MOST OUTSTANDING MILITARY TEAM
Commando Logistic Regiment