IT TOOK eight days and 29 buses but a retired Dorset Police officer, who was stabbed in the line of duty, has completed his epic bus pass journey across the country.

John Hadfield, 70, travelled from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for two mental health charities – using his senior citizen's bus pass.

He took on the challenge after suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ever since he was stabbed while working as a policeman.

After spending many years in the Army, Mr Hadfield eventually settled in Dorset and worked for Dorset Police in Bridport, Dorchester and Weymouth for the best part of ten years before being seconded to the Regional Crime Squad in Bristol in 1986.

It was here that he was severely injured in a terrifying attack. In December 1990, while making an arrest in Bristol, Mr Hadfield was stabbed five times.

Mr Hadfield, who now lives in Poole, said he wanted to use this challenge as a way of raising awareness for mental health and PTSD by supporting Combat Stress and The Household Cavalry Foundation, two charities that support veterans with mental health issues.

He said: "On those 29 buses I thought over a lot of things that have happened since that day and the reason why I was doing this was never far from my thoughts.

"On the second day I went through Bristol and I haven't been back there since 1993. I saw no point.

"The bus station I was waiting at was within a mile of the one I was stabbed in. But also, it was within a mile or so of the hospital where they saved my life.

"I had probably about two hours of deep reminiscing of what happened and how my life has changed and I got emotional.

"I can handle that now but there was a time when I wouldn't have been able to deal with that."

It was an emotional journey at times for Mr Hadfield, but he is delighted that he saw it through to the end: "I'm still absolutely shattered from the whole thing but it went very well and it was quite enjoyable really.

"I managed to raise £2,700 so it was well worth it and both charities are over the moon."

The fundraising page will be open for donations until November 1. Donate at