A member of the Coldstream Guard Band who overcame a serious illness will cycle a gruelling 259 miles this September to raise money for soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sergeant Nick Stones, of Whitton, was forced to take four months off work this year shortly after signing up for the Bike2Bennecourt cycle, and was concerned that his poor health would prevent him from taking part in the three-day event across France.

The French horn player, who has served in Afghanistan himself, has since made a full recovery and is determined to meet his £2,000 target for injured soldiers and their families.

He said: "The cause means so much to me, so many of the guys out there go through hell.

"The physical and mental toll it can take is incredible, and some of the guys I served with have been seriously injured."

Sgt Stones says his training for the cycle, which departs from Wellington Barracks on September 17, is going well, and he has only had one minor mishap.

He said: "The training is going great, I nearly rode into a badger in Richmond at one point but apart from that I’m well on track."

Donations can be made at justgiving.com/Nick-Stones.