Kenilworth to be represented at British Legion's First World War pilgrimage in Belgium

The Kenilworth branch of the Royal British Legion will be taking part in a pilgrimage to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Monday, 9th July 2018, 10:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:44 pm
The two wreaths to be laid: The Kenilworth Royal British Legion wreath (left) and the Kenilworth wreath (right)

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

GP90 marks 90 years since the original Royal British Legion Pilgrimage in 1928, which saw 11,000 First World War veterans and war widows visit the battlefields of the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium, a decade after the conflict ended.

It 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.

Now, Kenilworth RBL member David Tovey, as well as its president Cllr George Illingworth, will tour some of the same battlefields and cemeteries visited by those on the 1928 pilgrimage.

They will lay two wreaths at the Menin Gate, one on behalf of the Kenilworth community, and the other on behalf of the British Legion.

Cllr George Illingworth 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 Kenilworth Branch looks forward to proudly representing the town at this event.”

They will join more than 2,200 other Legion representatives and dignitaries taking part in the pilgrimage.

Residents are also invited to make the trip over to Ypres to see the parade on Wednesday August 8.

The One Hundred Days ceremony will takes place in Ypres' Market Square, and will be followed by an afternoon of music and entertainment.