Belgium pilgrimage to honour fallen First World War heroes

Buxton Remembrance, the standards are lowered during the silence
Buxton Remembrance, the standards are lowered during the silence

Brave soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War will be honoured during a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Belgium.

On Wednesday August 8, three High Peak branches of the Royal British Legion - Chapel-en-le-Frith, Hayfield and Glossop - will represent the borough at the international event, held at the Menin Gate in Ypres.

They will be part of the biggest legion membership event in its history, recreating the 1928 pilgrimage to the battlefields.

Standard bearer Alan Tideswell, who will be representing the Chapel branch, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be taking part in this once in a lifetime event to remember all those brave lads.

“Over 800 fathers, sons and brothers from across the High Peak community paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom in the Great War and this is our opportunity to say thank-you to a lost generation from 100 years ago.”

David Ash, from the Hayfield branch, explained: “A decade after the end of the First World War, over 11,000 veterans and war widows visited the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres before marching to the Menin Gate to commemorate the war dead.

“Exactly 90 years later, thousands of legion members will recreate the Great Pilgrimage, visit the same battlefields and carry their standards along the same route to the Menin Gate, representing an entire generation that served while defending our country.”

This will be the first of many events across the High Peak that will mark and commemorate the end of the First World War hostilities, culminating in remembrance parades and services on Sunday, November 11.