Kedington soldier’s challenge for dead comrade

While many people make a New Year resolution to get a bit fitter from January 1, soldier Captain Ian Flannery will be taking this to a higher level.

Capt Flannery, who grew up in Kedington, will be not only missing his lunch on New Year’s Day while serving out in Afghanista, he will do continuous sit-ups for the two-and-a-half hour break.

He told the Echo via Skype: “I plan to do the sit-ups during the lunch break at Camp Bastion. This will mean about 4,000 sit-ups without any breaks - even for water. And I will be missing out as the kitchen is pretty good here.

“I’ve been training and been successful and it’s to raise money for the Capt James Philippson Trust.”

Capt Flannery, 36, previously ran 155 miles through the Sahara Desert for the charity which honours a dead friend and comrade.

“Jim died while trying to rescue us from an ambush and he was shot, so I feel indebted to him. He used to talk about Man Tests, so this is another one of those.

“I have had some commercial support from Marshalls land Services of Cambridge and would like sponsorship from others who might want to get involved. Soldiers will be paying to guess how many sit-ups I do.”

The former Haverhill RUFC player added that he is looking forward to getting home in February to catch the end of the rugby season and play with his brother Chris and to attend a Castle Manor reunion.

He is married to Michelle. They have a daughter Jessica who is nearly two and have a baby due at the end of March.

Captain James “Jim” Philippson was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 11, 2006.

The trust in his name has been set up to benefit causes that he would have supported.

The trust will donate to the charities and organisations that enable under-privileged and/or disabled children to engage in sports, team work, leadership and motivation exercises. The trust will also donate to charities and organisations that are established to support armed forces personnel and veterans.

You can donate to Capt Ian Flannery’s appeal at

He aims to raise £10,000 for the charity.