Two members of Mawdesley’s Royal British Legion branch will be joining thousands of others on a ‘pilgrimage of remembrance’ to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of First World War.
Trevor Riley and John Nicholls will represent the Mawdesley RBL branch for the Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90), taking place between August 5 - 9. The milestone event will be one of the largest in the charity’s history.
GP90 will mark 90 years since the original Royal British Legion Pilgrimage in 1928, which saw 11,000 World War One veterans and war widows visit the battlefields of the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium, a decade after the conflict ended.
The Pilgrimage culminated in a march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate Memorial for a ceremony to commemorate the launch of the 100 Days Offensive and in remembrance of those who never returned.
Trevor will be a standard bearer and John, the wreath bearer.
On their trip, the pair will tour some of the same battlefields and cemeteries visited by those on the 1928 Pilgrimage, before marching along the original route through Ypres, to the Menin Gate on August 8, bearing their branch standard and a wreath.
Keith Mitchell, chairman of the Mawdesley Branch of The Royal British Legion, says: “Great Pilgrimage 90 is a unique opportunity for the Legion community to come together and bear our Standards along the same route in Ypres taken 90 years earlier by the veterans and widows of the First World War.
“The branch looks forward to proudly representing Mawdesley at the event.”
Trevor and John will join more than 2,200 other Legion representatives and dignitaries, including civic and military guests from the UK, Commonwealth and Northern Europe who are taking part.
Once at the Menin Gate, John will lay a wreath on behalf of the Mawdesley community.
As local champions of Remembrance, the Mawdesley branch of The Royal British Legion is looking to work in partnership with their community to bring their unique Remembrance message to the Menin Gate, on their wreath, where it will be displayed in a wreath installation for viewing by the general public until the end of August.
The parade will start at midday and hundreds are expected to turn out in the Marke Square in Ypres on August 8 to watch the parade, One Hundred Days ceremony, which will be followed with an afternoon of musical entertainment including The Central Band of the Royal British Legion.