UNDER the rain clouds a group of soldiers pedalled their way to honour fallen soldiers and raise money for charity.

On Tuesday members of the Armoured Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), 13 Field Company based in Tidworth set up camp in Andover High Street to take on their cycling mission.

Over seven hours three service personnel, with the help of members of their battalion who took turns, rode 454 miles on static bikes - a mile for each fallen soldier in Afghanistan.

Event organiser John Osborne said: “We have come up with the distance of 454 miles which is the number of servicemen and women that have lost their lives in Afghanistan. We decided to ride the distance that remembers their efforts.”

The charity event was not only a memorial but was also raising awareness and money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which is dedicated to supporting bereaved British Forces children and young people.

Inspired by the experience of Army widow Nikki Scott, the charity honours husband Corporal Lee Scott’s memory.

John added: “The charity supports bereaved forces children and helps send them on holidays putting a smile back on children’s faces.”

Dad-of-two John rode 113.5 miles on the day, along with Jason Mcleod and Mike Chapman.

Speaking on the day, Jason said: “I think we under estimated it, it is a pretty great distance. The others have been passing out buckets and have been supportive which makes it easier for us. The support team has been a massive help.”

He added: “When you know it is for a great cause a little bit of pain when raising money and awareness for charity is worth it.”

The team only had a week to prepare for the sponsored ride, with John waiting on the birth of his new baby and the company deploying to Canada in September.

And they have smashed their target of £500 with money not only being raised for Scotty’s Little Soldiers but also for the REME charity which provides financial assistance.