New NUJ President cycling round Somme battlefields

New President of the NUJ Pete Murray is planning to cycle around the battlefields of the Somme in 2010, in aid of MAG, the landmine clearance charity. Read his message below and please do all you can to support him.


I’ve just signed up for a sponsored cycle ride in France next year – and I’ve put up my sponsorship page. It’s here:

I hope you’ll be able to sponsor me on this 312 km bike ride in July 2010 in aid of the landmine clearance organisation, MAG.

I’ll be riding around 100km a day from the Somme to Flanders through the sites of some of the major battles of World War One. MAG hopes to raise around £50,000 from the event; my part in that is to raise at least £1600.

MAG reckons that landmines kill or maim 15 people every day. The horror these devices cause was brought home to me in 2003, when the Iranian photojournalist Kaveh Golestan was killed by stepping on one while he was working as a cameraman with the BBC in Kurdish-administered northern Iraq, just as the war was starting.

Hundreds of innocent people are killed by landmines every year, but the sickening waste of Kaveh’s death haunts me in a way I cannot explain. I will be riding though these historic areas of France and Belgium in his memory.

There are more details about MAG and the Somme – Flanders ride here:

There is also information about Kaveh and a recent exhibition of his award-winning work here:

Thanks for your help.