Village’s RBL branch joining thousands in commemoration

Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in West Flanders, Belgium PPP-170811-135349001
Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in West Flanders, Belgium PPP-170811-135349001

Local members of the Royal British Legion will be travelling to Ypres in Belgium to represent Sussex at the World War I commemorations.

The Royal British Legion event, known as the Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90) takes place between August 5 and 9 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 11,00 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 Richard and Maggie Boulter, will represent the Pett District Branch and the local community at the event, as Standard Bearer and Wreath layer respectively.

Richard and Maggie 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.

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, Maggie will lay a wreath on behalf of the Pett District community.

Margaret Hook Pulfer, Hon. Secretary of the Pett 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 branch looks forward to proudly representing Sussex at the event. As local champions of Remembrance, the Pett Branch 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.”

Call Margaret Hook Pulfer on 01424 814866 for details.