THE parents of a York soldier who died in Afghanistan will mark the 10th anniversary of his death by walking the Cleveland Way in his memory this summer.

Lance Bombardier Matthew Hatton, of Haxby, was killed in August 2009 when he and two other British troops were caught in a double explosion in Afghanistan’s Helmand province whilst securing the area ahead of presidential and local elections.

The former Oaken Grove Primary School and Easingwold School pupil was one of three servicemen from the York area who died in the conflict.

His parents Phil and Jill say they have continued to fundraise in his memory.

“We are so very proud of our brave and courageous son and wanted to take on another challenge in his honour, to mark the 10th anniversary of his death,” they said.

They said a number of fundraising events had been organised during the year, including a New Year's Eve raffle at the start of the year, a cake stall at the Haxby Scarecrow Festival in May and various wine and cheese nights, and a team would be taking part in the York Dragon Boat Race in July.

However, the main event would take place in August when they were planning to walk with a group of Matt’s friends, dubbed ‘TeamHatts,’ along the Cleveland Way.

The 109-mile walk runs from Helmsley to Filey, taking a route which skirts along the edge of the North York Moors National Park and then finishes along a coastal trail south of Saltburn.

The route passes by one of Matt’s favourite places, the White Horse at Sutton Bank near Thirsk, with walkers camping along the way.

The walk will raise money for Combat Stress, a charity which supports the mental well-being of veterans and tackles issues such as post traumatic stress disorder.

The fundraising appeal has a target of £1,500, with £270 raised online so far.

To support the fundraising drive, go to