A MAN injured while serving his country is travelling around Somerset as part of his quest to photograph all the war memorials in the country.

Mark Newton, who lives with his two cats in a small trailer attached to his mobility scooter, started his UK-wide challenge after being made redundant in 2010.

He has since raised over £52,000 with gift aid through donations on his website and bucket collecting outside Tesco on his days off.

“Its Bonkers, it really is bonkers,” Mark said.

“I travel with my two cats, Smudge and Missy, who are 12 and three. They stay with the trailer when I got out in my mobility scooter in the day. They are spoilt rotten.”

“The largest cemetery I have done was Tidworth. It had 910 graves. A memorial can be anything from a stone at the side of the road to a bronze plaque.

He believes it will take him over two months to photograph all the war graves and memorials in the county, and around ten years to complete the whole of Britain.

Mark, who funds his adventures with his war pension, has already completed all the coastal war graves in a journey that took 596 days, and has finished photographing all of Devon and Wiltshire’s memorials and graves.

He served in the army for almost seven years in the 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards before an injury to his right leg in Cyprus in 1991 led to him being discharged.

Mark is often identified by the public for his distinctive sponsor-covered scooter and his motorbike rider’s jacket.

Mark added: “The scooter has done 17,000 miles in two and a half years. I got it serviced just before starting on Somerset. They said I had put it through 10 to 15 years of use in two years.

“I have got a little heating in the trailer and a sleeping bag. There’s more room in my trailer than there was in my tank.

“The jacket is what motorbike riders wear, and I am a member of the Royal British legion Riders Branch. It is the biggest branch of British Legion, with 6,000 odd members now, I think.”

“I try not to go anywhere when it is raining. I work pretty much every day, and I would take a day off only to collect money at Tesco or do some washing.

“What I take in buckets probably makes up about three quarters of my donations. I had a guy in Kent give me £350. He was ex forces and he said ‘I have done alright since leaving the army’ and he pulled out seven £50 notes.”

To monitor Mark’s progress, visit his website www.aroundbritain.org.uk, or to see his photographs visit www.war-graves.co.uk.