Branch pays tribute to WWI

Menin Gate, Belgium.
Menin Gate, Belgium.

Members of the Collingham and District branch of The Royal British Legion are to join thousands on a pilgrimage of Remembrance to World War One battlefield that culminates in a parade and ceremony in Ypres as part of the end of the First World War centenary commemorations this August.

The Royal British Legion event, known as Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90), takes place between August 5 and 9 and will be one of the largest in the charity’s history.

Antony Wakeham MBE, President of the Collingham & District Branch, said: “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 Collingham and District Branch looks forward to proudly representing our community at the event.”

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.

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, Scott Mackie and Nicholas Fawcett will represent the Collingham and District Branch (Clifford, Boston Spa, Linton, East Keswick, Bramham, Scarcroft) and the local community at the event, as Standard Bearer and wreath layer respectively.

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 the August 8, bearing their branch standard and a wreath.

Once at the Menin Gate, Mr Fawcett will lay a wreath.