I have taken part in two H4H Rallies, 2011-2012 so far it was a wonderful experience on both occasions. A Holiday it is not, an adventure yes never to be forgotten, the camaraderie amongst all competitors is something that is only experienced by members of the armed forces. The organisation is second to none, all the details required to organise an event such as this is taken care of by a very small team of dedicated individuals “The Bowen Family” Once you sign up you are a member of a very special family, it is also a tremendous opportunity for “bonding” of family ties.” Not forgetting the reason you are there and the satisfaction you will achieve – LONG MAY IT CONTINUE
We registered to attend the 2011 rally, having no idea what to expect but excited by the thought of travelling the Allied Invasion route and raising money for such an excellent cause. It is an understatement to say how overwhelmed we all were at the level of effort and organisation that is put in from the event organisers. Everyone was so friendly that not only did we have an amazing experience but we came away being part of a family. Lewis our 10 year old son really enjoyed the experience and learnt so much, we all cannot wait to do it again
Ross MacFarlane & Jannise House – ‘The Series Team’:
From the day we signed up to take part in the H 4 H European Rally we looked at this as an “adventure” holiday. We both enjoy camping, off roading and generally having a good time. After all the build up with the fund raising (which was surprisingly fun in itself), the big day came. It was all very exciting especially meeting all the like minded people also taking part. Everything we had imagined the rally to be was that and more. The organisation throughout the 2 weeks was excellent(brownie points for that one). We had a real sense of camaraderie with different teams all travelling together helping each other out. Although for us in our 1963 series 2A Landrover the days were very long but time seemed to fly by with all the activities we had to take care of on route, from the Tulip navigation to the many different competitions etc. and not forgetting how humble we felt visiting the War Memorial Graves and the concentration camp. It was a very memorable experience with many emotions along the way.
If anyone asked me if they should take part, without any hesitation I would say do it it’s a trip of a life time. Meeting like-minded people and not forgetting the ultimate aim to raise money for the Help for Heroes charity. For us, we managed to combine all of our interests and raise money for a charity we are deeply passionate about.
Even after the event the fun doesn’t stop, with all the reunions we have going on with our new extended family.
To sum up our experience absolutely fantastic!
John Lewis & Andrew Painter:
I wouldnt know where to start when putting together a testimonial for the Rally. It meant so much to us, and we enjoyed it on so many different levels that words couldnt describe the feelings of the event.
Not a day goes by where I don’t remember or think about a moment or day or place visited or fellow rally member. It gets a bit like the film American Pie (which I’m sure you’re familiar with Tim ha ha) when talking to people….”This one time, on The H4H Rally….”
Most people I talk to are now getting bored with me talking about it. In fact, tonight I get to talk to a whole new bunch of people…..The local WI has invited us in to talk about the Rally…and in August I’m talking to an Off-Road club in Akron Ohio!
The Paceys – ‘Team Rockape’:
My husband and I were so excited when we came across the Help for Heroes 4X4 European Rally as it combined four of our passions – WW II history, travel, fund raising and off road driving! We took part in the first rally in 2010 and despite having major issues with our vehicle we thoroughly enjoyed every moment, so much so we went again in 2011!! It is clear to see that the organisers have put a tremendous amount of planning in this trip from the campsites to the Museums and it is very informative throughout. It is great for everyone, families of all ages get involved, and from this trip we have met many genuine good friends who we continue to see both as part of Rally Reunions and other social gatherings. Communication from the organisers, Tim and Keith, is excellent and there is always support should you need it. I can’t recommend this trip enough and we are planning to take part again next year bringing along family members who are new to the 4×4 circuit. The effort that has gone into the Rally has made a significant impact for Help for Heroes Charity, good people doing good things. Congratulations to the entire Bowen family for the huge success of this Rally and long may it continue.
Dave and Dawn Shaw:
I am a Warrant Officer in the British Army and have taken part in many fundraising events over the years. The Rally is an extremely well organised event that brings together people from different walks of life who want to make a difference for our injured soldiers and their families. The fundraising and camaraderie starts up to a year before the actual rally with continued support from the “Rally family” through the forum, website, and gatherings at events.
The actual trip can be achieved with a very well maintained yet standard 4×4 and above all, a sense of adventure! Myself and my wife have completed the Rally twice now and will be taking part again in the future. The routes to the places that you visit are broken up with fun tasks or activities. These places that you visit are all linked to the “support for our wounded” theme spanning nearly a century in some cases.
Banter and fun is shared by all giving a real family feel with lots of support. After the completion of the days road book you can socialise, find local sights or hidden treasure or maybe even choose to have an early night! We highly recommend this event to anyone.
Thanks Keith, Tim, Rhiannon and all of the Marshals for what is truly memorable yet worthwhile event, however, participants must be careful who you trust, watch out for moving goalposts!!
Team Muck ‘n’ Malarkey (Sarah & Simon – Team 44):
We were in the process of converting our ex-RAF Land Rover 127 Ambulance (B’ambi) into an expedition vehicle and were looking for a chance to give it – and us – a good test run. What better way than 2000 miles across Europe raising money for Help for Heroes? – a charity that is very close to our hearts.
The rally organisation is second to none. Keith and Tim’s attention to detail ensured that everything ran like clockwork and that every eventuality was covered (or at least it seemed that way). They could even pull the odd rabbit out of the hat when thrown the occasional curve ball when need arose. More than that they are true communicators who lead by motivation; they never allow you to forget the cause behind the 2000 miles of tulip diagrams across 7 counties in 10 days (…were we mad!?!)
We have taken part in the H4H 4X4 European Rally twice now, in 2010 and 2012, and for us, it has been the most inspirational, enlightening and enjoyable thing we have done in years – exciting, fun, thought-provoking and challenging. However, prospective entrants should be under no illusion that this is a ‘holiday’. Many of the days were long and tiring and the level of commitment needed should not be underestimated. That said, we would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with a 4×4 and a passion for history.
You’ll laugh; you’ll cry but you’ll make some lifelong friends along the way.
We are enormously proud to have been part of an event which has raised over £½ million for Help for Heroes.
Robert Pearson, Neil Gardner, Blair Graham & Graham Degg – Team Cobham H4x4H:
Cobham Technical Services is a 2012 and 2013 corporate sponsor of the Help for Heroes (H4H) European 4×4 Rally. Four of us took up the challenge in 2012 and entered ‘Team CobhamH4x4H’. The team had limited 4×4 driving experience and a brand new VW Touareg to protect. No one was too sure what to expect.
We had a fantastic experience over the 12 days, full of challenge and great reward. We’ve not only learnt the stories around the Allied Invasion but also (and perhaps more significantly) the stories behind the stories. We’ve made some great friends and to top everything off, are proud to be part of such a well-organised event which has now raised over £500,000 to support our wounded, sick or injured soldiers.
Matt Robinson & Andrew Phillips – Team JeepJunkies:
2012 saw my first entrance onto the rally. After hearing about it from a friend in my Jeep club I thought I would give it a go. As an ex-sapper, it supports a cause close to me. So I found a co-driver, packed up the Jeep and set off around Europe. Much fun was had. Many new friends where made. In fact, everyone involved in the rally is like one big family. The Jeep performed well, completing just over 3000 miles door to door in 2 weeks. I enjoyed it that much, I am signed up again to compete in the 2013 event.
Ian Fraser & Ray Pipe – ‘La Jeep’:
Many talk glibly about life changing experiences but for me and Ray the H4H 2012 Rally was a real mother of a road trip!
I’ve owned a 50 year old Hotchkiss Jeep for many years and have always been more interested in ‘using it’ rather than ‘showing it’ so I knew it was in pretty good shape for the rally.
Nevertheless, this is not a two week jaunt for the faint hearted. We prepared well and set off from Littlecote House with considerable anxiety. On the first day alone we covered more miles than I had done in the old Jeep for years and we still had not left the UK!
For us it was all about endurance and every day completed was an achievement as we could not do much more than 60km/h. Over the two weeks we had a fantastic time and we cannot praise the support from Keith and Tim and all the other teams. The comradely was unbelievable – a modern Band of Brothers! The AA crews were invaluable as, although we were carrying loads of rare 50 year old spares, we were inflicted with a spate of punctures in the later stages of the rally and the AA boys were always there to help.
I’d recommend the experience to anybody. If you take something like my old Jeep you do need to know your vehicle well as it will need some TLC at the end of each day with the old fashioned grease gun and that lovingly caressed oily rag. If you are unsure, talk to some of the teams and go for it. As the Land Rover boys keep saying – One Life-Live It.
Winning the ‘Spirit of the Event’ award was the absolute icing on the cake for us and to be involved with such a worthy charity has been an honour we intend to repeat……………
Nick Burt & Lyn Edwards- Team L200 (Team 16):
2013 will be the 4th year of the rally and the 3th year we have taken
part. It’s a fantastic educational, geographical and challenging
event. One that we are proud to have been a part of from the
beginning, and, hopefully, for years to come.
Some of the venues visited are very moving and thought provoking,
other are just plain beautiful.
Our kids have joined us on 2 of the rallys and have found the “Rally
Family” to be just that, a very close and supportive family.
We would recommend anyone to take part, it’s a great 2 week trip,
worth every penny cost of entering.
But the big winner is Help for Heroes.
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