Friends to trek across Namib Desert in memory of Victoria Cross hero L/Cpl James Ashworth

  • ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward talks to Jimmy Dexter and Dominic Lunt about their desert mission

Two friends who are hoping to trek across the world's oldest desert in memory of a soldier who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross say that it will be the "hardest thing they've ever done."

Jimmy Dexter, 31, and Dominic Lunt are currently training for the challenge which they hope to complete early next year.

The pair are aiming to walk unsupported more than 100 miles across the Namib Desert in Namibia in southern Africa.

All money raised from the expedition will go to the Lord Kitchener's Memorial Holiday Centre in Lowestoft which is run by the father of the late Lance Corporal James Ashworth.

Jimmy Dexter served alongside James Ashworth in the Grenadier Guards. Credit: Jimmy Dexter

L/Cpl Ashworth, 23, from Corby in Northamptonshire, died trying to protect his unit from a Taliban sniper in Afghanistan in 2012.

Mr Dexter, from nearby Kettering, served alongside L/Cpl Ashworth in the Grenadier Guards and has remained close with his family.

"We lived in the same flat, next door neighbours, and we're both from next door home towns," he told ITV News Anglia.

"We spent a lot of time together, in and out of work. So to me, it's important that his memory lives on. If we can help other people along the way while doing that, then I'd like to get involved with that. It will be the hardest thing we've ever done - people think we're crazy."

Dom (left) and Jimmy (right) have just completed a trial run in Oman. Credit: Jimmy Dexter

Mr Dexter has since left the Army, but Mr Lunt, who is based at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire, still works in the military.

Together, the friends have taken on many gruelling challenges in the past, and did a trial run in Oman just before Christmas.

However, their trip to Namibia promises to be a different kettle of fish altogether.

The Namib is notorious for its snakes, scorpions and even desert lions, and when you throw in the sweltering heat and the fact that the pair will have to drag all of their supplies behind them - it all adds up to a test like no other they've experienced before.

"Jimmy and I are used to doing stupid things together," Mr Lunt laughed.

"We've seen each other in dark moments, when you're at your lowest, but actually, it's understanding each other, being able to have a sense of humour in adversity in those tough situations and being able to get on with each other - which we do."

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