Soldier’s Boxing Day challenge

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Castleford soldier Alan Poole will take on a gruelling three back-to-back marathons to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Warrant Officer (First Class)Poole - who is currently serving at the Afghan Army Officers Training Academy - will row and run 42km before doing the same distance on a cross trainer at the camp in Kabul.

WO1 Poole, 49, - who has served in the army for 30 years - aims to complete the Boxing Day challenge within ten hours.

His partner Martine Burgess, of Whitwood, said: “Alan has wanted to do something for charity for a while and he thought over the Christmas period would be the best time to do it.

“He has done the New York Marathon a few times and he is an athlete in the army so I’m sure he’ll complete it.”

Miss Burgess said WO1 Poole - who went to Castleford High School - hopes to raise at least £1,000 for the Yorkshire branch of the Royal British Legion.

WO1 Poole has served in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Miss Burgess added: “It is hard being away from your loved ones for so long, especially over Christmas.

“Alan has a six-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter so it’s really hard for them too because they miss him as much as he misses them.”

For more information or to sponsor WO1 Poole visit

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The message can be a simple merry Christmas and happy new year, it’s entirely up to you.

All you need to do to get a message in the Express is submit your family member’s name, picture, service details and a message for them on our website.

Or you can email us at or with a photograph of your relative, where they are serving and your message.

These will then be published on our website and in our newspaper over the Christmas period.