Army friends take on Mount Keen for charity

Jamie Deans and Mark Ansell, who will undertake a charity run/hike up Mount Keen on Saturday (June 16).
Jamie Deans and Mark Ansell, who will undertake a charity run/hike up Mount Keen on Saturday (June 16).

A retired army dentist has organised a charity hike/run up Mount Keen on Saturday (June 16).

Jamie Deans, whose in-laws live in Ballater, and friend Mark Ansell are running from Ballater to Glen Tanar (via Dinnet) in the early evening, before hiking up Mount Keen overnight and heading back to Ballater via Cairn Leuchan.

Jamie, who served for 16 years in the army, has organised the event for Combat Stress, which cares for ex-service veterans who have suffered psychologically because of their military service.

The timing of the event co-incides with the marking of the end of the Falkands War 30 years ago, when British soldiers and marines fought ferocious battles at night to capture the hills around Port Stanley.

The hike up Mount Keen will be overnight in darkness to help them pay tribute to those who were killed or injured. They aim to reach the summit at around midnight.

Jamie said more veterans had committed suicide since the Falkands War than died during the conflict, and Combat Stress worked to help veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Jamie, who is married to Lindsey and has daughters Alice and Alexandra, said: “I am now an orthodontist living and working in Edinburgh. After two years in civvy street, I am re-engaging with the military and showing my support for the military.

“As a dentist, I had a practical and unglamorous role to play in the military but it was an honour to serve with the talented and brave men and women of the navy, army and air force.

“It is 30 years (June 14) since the end of the Falklands War and I wanted to do something for service veterans. I served on operational tours in Bosnia and Northern Ireland.”

Friend Mark, who is married with three sons, is still serving with the army.

“He is a registrar in maxillofacial surgery (doctor and a dentist) and has served with airborne forces,” said Jamie. “He has done operational tours in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Afghanistan. We have been friends for 17 years and met in the army.

“The choice of Deeside for the event is that my wife’s parents live in Ballater and I got married at Crathie and had the reception at Glen Tanar.

“I am always up in Deeside to see the in-laws - Alan and Shiela Harrison - and running along the Dee and hiking in the hills is my passion, along with fly fishing!”

Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can visit the Just Giving site for more details, at: www.justgiving.com/Jamie-Deans