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Tribute to Jeff who 'never gave up'

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

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A TEAM of squaddies from Exeter's Wyvern Barracks have taken part in an endurance charity challenge in memory of their friend who died earlier this year.

Lance Corporal Jeff Jenner was only in his 30s when he lost his brave battle against cancer in March.

Jeff, who worked with the Army recruiting team at Wyvern Barracks and originally came from Dawlish, was a popular member of staff at the barracks and his death at such a young age had a profound effect on all who knew him.

It was Jeff's determination and strength in fighting his illness for such a long time which led to 12 of his friends launching the Jeff Jenner Coastal Challenge as tribute.

The gruelling 270-mile slog around the South West Coast Path from Land's End to Wyvern Barracks saw the soldiers tackle some of the harshest terrain in the region, with huge rocky climbs at almost every step.

To cover the enormous distance in time they had to run almost two marathons a day, before finally arriving back at Wyvern Barracks on Friday where a barbecue and charity auction was held.

As well as paying tribute to Jeff, the aim was to raise much needed money for Hospiscare in Exeter, which looked after him and his family in his final days.

Major Tim Morris who was Jeff's boss, said: "Jeff was a Paratrooper through and through. He was tough as nails, loyal, committed and he never, never, never gave up; least of all in his fight against cancer.

"He would have loved this challenge, especially the steep, slippery, cold wet bits where he could test his own mental and physical endurance to the limit. He was truly a great man who is deeply missed by us all."

Hospiscare raises almost £5m a year to care for more than 2,000 patients and their families in Exeter Mid and East Devon.

Hospiscare nurse Rosie Gedye, who looked after Jeff, said: "He was one of the younger members attending our hospice day care centre here in Exeter.

"He was a very positive influence within the group. That positive attitude benefited other patients because he often lifted people's mood. He particularly enjoyed the craft room and spent a lot of time making a military memorabilia frame for his family.

"There was always a lot of laughter and banter and it was a hub of activity."

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/jeffjenner

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