Members of the Brent Knoll branch of The Royal British Legion are to join thousands on a pilgrimage of Remembrance to a World War One battlefield that will culminate in a parade and ceremony in Ypres as part of the end of the First World War centenary commemorations this month.
The Royal British Legion event, known as Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90), takes place between August 5th-9th and 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 WW1 veterans and war widows visit the battlefields of the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium, a decade after the conflict ended.
That 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 Hundred Days Offensive and in remembrance of those who never returned.
Local Legion members, Standard Bearer Rod Southwell and wreath layer Mike Ham, will represent the Brent Knoll branch and the local community at the event.
Rod and Mike 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 the 8th August, bearing their branch standard and a wreath.
They 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, Mike will lay a wreath on behalf of the local community.
Steve Russell, Chairman of the Brent Knoll branch of The Royal British Legion, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “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 Brent Knoll branch looks forward to proudly representing the area at the event.”
The Brent Knoll 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.
Pictured: Brent Knoll Royal British Legion members Rod Southwell, Mike Ham, Steve Russell and Eddy Fuller