Cateran Yomp

1,000 March for Army Family

Nearly 1,000 soldiers, veterans, and civilians from across the globe raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Army Benevolent Fund during this weekend’s 13th Cateran Yomp.

Participants, aged 16 to 79, travelled from as far as the USA, Australia, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, Denmark and the EU to walk side by side on a 24-hour trek across the beautiful hills and glens of the historic Cateran Trail in Perthshire. The event fell just two days after the 80th anniversary of D-Day and also coincided with the charity’s 80th anniversary.


Three Scots regiment participating in the gruelling 54 mile Cateran Yomp for the Army Benevolent Fund.

The Army’s National Charity, the Army Benevolent Fund provides a lifetime of support to serving soldiers, former soldiers, and their immediate families when they are in need.

The Cateran Yomp has raised millions of pounds for the charity, with donations funding everything from wheelchair ramps for soldiers’ homes, to respite care and personal recovery plans for injured soldiers returning from the front line. In FY 23/24 alone, the charity supported around 75,000 members of the Army Family in 51 countries around the world. The youngest beneficiary was just one day old, with the eldest aged 104.

Starting at 6am on Saturday and ending in the early hours of Sunday morning, the event challenged teams of brave souls to walk 22, 36 or 54 miles in less than 24 hours on the 54-mile route around the foothills of the Cairngorms.


Members of 1 Ranger SPS detachment participating in the Cateran Yomp.

Supported by headline sponsor Babcock International Group, this year’s event was also sponsored by Arnold Clark and Castle Water.  The Cateran Yomp also works with a range of local sponsors who donate gifts in kind for the event, including Gin Bothy.

Mark Harding (47), war veteran and Ambassador of this year’s Cateran Yomp, took the unusual step of walking from his home near Carlisle to Blairgowrie, the start point of the Cateran Yomp, over ten days. Mark, who was told he would never walk again after being shot in Afghanistan, walked around 10 miles per day on crutches, arriving at the event hub to welcome participants before they set off on the challenge.

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Mark Harding, event ambassador arriving after trekking from Carlisle to Blairgowrie.

Mark, from Cumbria, served with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment for 16 years, mainly as a sniper with the Reconnaissance platoon. His service included operational tours in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2010, while leading a routine patrol in Afghanistan, Mark was shot in the neck by a Taliban sniper and left paralysed. Despite doctors’ predictions, Mark was determined to overcome his injuries and learn to walk again, a goal he achieved two and a half years later.

Mark, who has already raised over £80,000 for military charities, said, “Although I couldn’t walk the full route in the stipulated 24 hours, I’m proud to say I walked to the event instead and felt exceptionally proud and privileged to wish those taking part the very best of luck as they set off on this amazing challenge.

“When I was paralysed from the neck down, The Army Benevolent Fund was pivotal to my recovery, giving me the funds to convert my house and kickstart my recovery, both physical and mental.  Since then, I’ve been determined to push the boundaries and give as much back as possible. By walking with my flag, I hope I shone a light on the charity and set an example to others to sign up next year. With many of my friends injured in service, many also relying on the charity’s support, I’m proud to support the Army Benevolent Fund and would like to thank everyone who took part or donated. We owe it to our veteran and their families.”

Reflecting on an extraordinary weekend, Major General Tim Hyams CB OBE, Chief Executive of the Army Benevolent Fund, commented, “The Cateran Yomp forms a significant element of the charity’s annual fundraising efforts, and this year has seen a staggering number of participants cross the start line. I am extremely grateful to every single Yomper; all of whom have demonstrated exceptional mental and physical resilience, and an evident sense of teamwork.  In so doing, they have made a tangible difference to our ability, as the Army’s national charity, to be there for soldiers, for life.”


The ‘Tartan Warriors’ from Dundee!

James Innes, Head of Social Impact, Babcock International Group, said: “A huge congratulations to everyone who took part in the trek and raised money for this important cause. Well done to our Cadets, who were participating in our inaugural Babcock Cadet Challenge. Your enthusiasm and teamwork over the weekend were inspirational.

“We work side by side with the British Army delivering critical equipment, support and essential technical training, as well as providing employment opportunities for service leavers and reservists. Our partnership with ABF not only reinforces our long-standing relationship, but also enables us to further strengthen our support by inspiring the next generation of Army family.”

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Images supplied by Ed Smith Ed Smith Photography and Graeme Niven Niven Photography.

The Army Benevolent Fund

The Army Benevolent Fund is the Army’s national charity, here for soldiers, veterans and their families for life. Since 1944, the charity has been at the forefront of support for the Army family. It is one of the largest funders in the sector, reaching 75,000 people and funding 86 charities in FY 23/24. It is here to support the Army family through life’s challenges – whether that involves bereavement, injury, getting back to work, elderly care, and much more besides. Its beneficiaries ranged in age from one day old to a 104-year-old veteran in FY23/24 – and it helped soldiers, veterans and their families in 51 countries worldwide.


Babcock is an international defence company, operating in our focus countries of the UK, Australasia, Canada, France and South Africa, with exports to additional markets. We support and enhance our customers’ defence capabilities and critical assets through a range of product and service solutions, providing increased availability, affordability and capability.