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Army Veteran Undertakes her 11th annual 100 Mile Solo Charity Walk

“I realised life is too precious to wait, or to put things off.”

Margaret 'Marg' Davies, Seventy-two year old Veteran

Seventy-two year old Veteran, Margaret ‘Marg’ Davies, does not take the obvious path through life. On Thursday 25th April 2024, she embarked on her 11th annual 100-mile solo charity walk, which will take her across her home county of Pembrokeshire, Wales. She aims to cover 10-15 miles per day, dedicating her journey to her late uncle, Corporal W G Mauvan Jenkins.


Marg was born in 1951 in Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, to Lynda and Tom (T. W.) Davies. Her father owned shoe shops in Meyrick Street, Pembroke Dock, while Marg attended Albion Square Junior School and Pembroke Grammar School. From there she went on to Art College in Bromley, Kent. She dropped out, frustrated by what she saw as “unwritten rules”, and returned home to Pembroke Dock.  Deciding she wanted to do something more active, she was drawn to The Army, appreciating its structure: “If I was going to break rules, I might as well have them written down,” she explains.


She sought information from Army Careers Officer, Major Peter Richardson, at Hobbs Point, and attested at Swansea. She joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) as an Officer Cadet in 1971. After training at Camberley, she served as a Recruit Training Platoon Officer at the WRAC Centre in Guildford, then moved on to Germany, and finally to Lincolnshire, where she finally served with The Welsh Gunners, 22nd Light Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery who had been stationed at one time at Llanion Barracks. After serving a five year Short Service Commission, Marg decided to embark upon a new chapter in life, retraining as a primary school teacher and spent 28 years teaching at primary schools in Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire.


In 2007, Marg was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, for which she underwent 5 years of treatment.  During some of the darker days of her recovery, the camaraderie and support of her WRAC Association friends and colleagues proved invaluable.  “The comradeship and support that they and the Association gave helped (and still helps) me to fight the demons that a life-threatening illness can produce”.

Marg found she had become more sedentary during the years of her breast cancer treatment.  The weight had crept on, which she felt she needed to tackle, so she looked for a new outlet.  She had always loved walking, but decided to challenge herself and plan ‘A Long Distance Walk’. She says, “After being given the all-clear, I realised life is too precious to waste, or to put things off.” Once she started walking, she immediately found being out in the fresh air helped keep her fit, but, more crucially, it supported her mental wellbeing. Marg started planning longer routes and setting herself tougher challenges, and for each of the last 10 years, she has undertaken a solo 100 mile walk over the course of 6+ days.  Each time, she raises funds for the WRAC Association, as well as other causes that are important to her.

In 2017, Marg was once again diagnosed with breast cancer. This time, the treatment after surgery was 20 consecutive days of radiotherapy. Walking became her solace during this time. Each day of her treatment, she walked several miles to the hospital, accompanied by her wife Denise, and walked home again afterwards.  She feels very strongly that the daily walk supported her in her treatment, even though she jokes, “Thankfully the return journey was downhill!”


Through her second recovery from breast cancer, Marg continued to plan her expeditions. She explores a different part of the country each time she undertakes a long walk, planning the itinerary with the military precision you would expect.  She aims to cover 10-15 miles per day, and has a contingency plan in place for all weathers.  So far, she has explored North Wales, Norfolk, South & Central England, Scotland and Ireland, raising over £40,000 for her causes along the way. “I’ve always been lucky with the weather on my walks, but I don’t want to tempt fate!”

This year Marg’s walk will see her return to her roots in Pembrokeshire. “My father, T.W.(Tom) Davies, was a great walker. Growing up in Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, we were ‘pioneers’, walking the first, newly carved routes which became the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.” Marg is dedicating the walk to her late uncle, Corporal William George Mauvan Jenkins. “The family all knew that my Uncle Jenkins had been awarded the Military Medal, but we didn’t quite realise the magnitude of his bravery. He never spoke about the events that led to his receipt of the medal, which were quite traumatic. This year, I want to honour my uncle, but also highlight the importance of reaching out and getting the right mental health support.”

She intends her walk to take in many of the castles and fortifications of South Pembrokeshire. “In deference to my ageing knees, I’ll be choosing the flattest routes I can find – not an easy task in South Pembrokeshire!” She has discovered around 25 different sites, ranging from virtually eroded Iron Age promontory forts through to medieval castles and the many stone forts, blockhouses and gun towers that were built to protect the Haven.

This year, as well as raising funds for the WRAC Association, Marg is also fundraising for the VC Gallery, a local charity for veterans and the local community, combating social isolation through creative engagement. You can donate to Marg’s fundraising page here and you can follow Marg’s walk and read about her previous ones via her blog.