The Origins of The Operation Henry Trust

At that exciting moment when the decision is made to make something of one's life, the chances are that the process has already begun. For some the quest may be through contemplation, study or conversation with like minds.

Others will use the practical experiences of life to help them on their way. So it was with David P. Snelling, who, whilst some were considering how to reach the boundaries of hedonism, decided to walk alone 2000 kilometres to celebrate the Millennium. Inspired by the Trust's original Patron, Col. John Blashford-Snell O B E , now retired as Honorary President of the Scientific Exploration Society ( see Affiliations page), David started his logistical planning covering a period of 3 years !

Four months was to be set aside from the somewhat earthly existence of maintaining a standard of living for his family, whilst retaining an acceptable and willing contribution to society within his community.

Little did he think that a bond, unbreakable by comparison to his 45 years of marriage, was to develop with his trusty companion ‘ Henry ‘. A hinny on whom he would have to rely through unforgiving terrain, atrocious weather conditions and unprecedented urban conditions of heavy traffic, obnoxious fumes and relentless curiosity through which the pair had to travel in order to obtain the coveted certificate, not changed from its latin origin in the 14th century known as the ' Compostela'.

A glancing reference to a national newspaper’s story about the Medieval Routes of Europe dispelled any thoughts of ‘John o’Groats to Land’s End‘. France and Spain beckoned- the Culture, Architecture, Gastronomy, History, Religion, Geography even the background to the establishment of Europe 1000 years earlier was intended to be experienced –Surely a story to share!

With the background of 11 crusades,4 plagues and Charlemagne’s challenges with the North- Eastern tribes of the Vikings, Saxons, Slavs, Bulgars , Avars, Huns and Visigoths let alone the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, David and Henry lived through the extraordinary minds of the pilgrims and sensed the spirits of the long gone rise up towards them at every step.

Le Puy-en-Velay in the Massif Central of France to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain was to become an unforgettable journey from which, by all reports of his presentations, total exhaustion was felt even by his audiences!

So the Charity was established-

“The Government recognises that the introduction of the smoking ban in public places will greatly diminish the cases of this type of Cancer. The Secretary of State for Health must now recognise that being the laggard in providing better health services in Europe is unacceptable and in this regard the current policy has to improve.

In order to understand more fully the political aspects of lobbying, persuading and affecting the experiences of the Trust The Right Honorable Ann Widdecombe MP( Rtrd:) was invited to make up the team of respecteed and wise Patrons. Your help and support will definitely be most welcome and with the knowledge that your donations will directly benefit a sufferer, surely this is what giving is all about. £100,000 to be raised is the fifth year objective.” said David.

During the years that Operation Henry has been helping Pancreatic Cancer patients, we have had many adventures. Here are a selection of our escapades, which may help you to understand our motivations.