RBL members pay tribute in Ypres

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by Tony Potter

Local Legion members honoured WW1 generation by recreating historic pilgrimage of 1928 and more than 2,200 standard bearers and wreath layers paid tribute to the Fallen.

Members of the Curry Rivel, Drayton and Fivehead Branch of The Royal British Legion joined thousands of Armed Forces veterans and supporters from across the UK, Ireland and worldwide in a pilgrimage of remembrance to some of the most poignant sites from the First World War.

This Branch was one of 27 Branches from across Somerset which were represented at this event.

A spectacular two-mile march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's Menin Gate Memorial, led by 1,100 Standard Bearers, was the culmination of the three-day event, which saw the 2,200 participants visit the First World War trenches, battlefields and cemeteries at Passchendaele, Tyne Cot and The Somme..

Mick Brett, Standard Bearer, from Fivehead, and Peter Hayes, Wreath Bearer, Curry Rivel, attended the Great Pilgrimage 90 as representatives of Curry Rivel, Drayton and Fivehead Branch, as well as our local communities

Mick, who has only been the Branch's Standard Bearer for 6 months, said "It was one of the proudest occasions of my life. A real once-in-a-lifetime experience and something that I will never forget". Thoughts echoed by Peter "I found it to have been a most emotional occasion that I was so very proud to have been a part. Sometimes I just had to be on my own with my thoughts".

Bob Gamble, The Royal British Legion's Head of Commemorative Events, said: "The Great Pilgrimage 90, was the Legion's largest membership event in modern history. It was a suitable tribute from the members of The Royal British Legion to honour the First World War generation, echoing the way in which the British Legion community commemorated the 10th anniversary of the conflict in 1928."

Mick and Peter are very grateful for the very generous donations received from Curry Rivel Parish Council, the Curry Rivel News and 'Bristow Electrical' which made possible the involvement of the Branch in this event.

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