They will sail from Portsmouth by boat on Thursday and on arriving Ouistreham will run 65 miles along the Caen Canel to arrive at the bridge –famed for an audacious assault by airborne troops on the morning of 6 June 1944 – two days later to celebrate and commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings.
The run is in aid of a charity called Project 65 and involves 186 official runners, who will represent the 186 soldiers and aircrew who took part in the assault on the bridge, a crossing that had to be taken to protect the eastern flank of the Allied assault.
Every runner will be wearing a T-shirt with the name of one of the servicemen who took part in the successful operation to capture the bridge. The four Islanders taking part are all members of the Minden Club and former infantrymen of the Royal Hampshire Regiment.
Minden Club chairman Dene Cassin will represent Sergeant Pete Barwick (24), who died 7 June 1944, club secretary Jeremy Jacklin-Cauvin will represent Private James Douglas Nicholls (26), who died on 25th June 1944, Dean Tucker will represent Private Victor Wilkes (23), who died 7 June 1944, and Julian Verdesca will be representing Lance Corporal Fredrick Minns (30), who died 9 June 1944.