High Peak legion branches make pilgrimage to First World War battlefields

Thousands of standard bearers made the journey to France and Belgium for the Royal British Legion GP90
Thousands of standard bearers made the journey to France and Belgium for the Royal British Legion GP90

Members of three High Peak Royal British Legion branches joined thousands more on a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage of remembrance to the First World War battlefields.

The Royal British Legion event, known as the Great Pilgrimage 90, was the largest in the charity’s history and marked 90 years since the original Royal British Legion pilgrimage, in 1928, when 11,000 First World War veterans and war widows visited the battlefields of the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium, a decade after the conflict ended.

A wreath from the Chapel-en-le-Frith Branch of the Royal British Legion laid at the GP90

A wreath from the Chapel-en-le-Frith Branch of the Royal British Legion laid at the GP90

Members from Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Glossop represented individual branches and the High Peak community.

Alan Tideswell, standard bearer for the Chapel branch who served in the Royal Navy for 16 years, said of the honour: “For me it is probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to the battlefields, pay my respects and thank a lost generation.

“It was very humbling being there and seeing the graves of every soldier not lucky enough to make it home, but the sight of so many standard bearers and people laying wreaths was one I’ll never forget.”

Neil Deaville, representing Hayfield, added: “They won’t be forgotten and will always be honoured and remembered by future generations.”

Hundreds of wreaths were laid as an act of remembrance at the GP90

Hundreds of wreaths were laid as an act of remembrance at the GP90

The Bakewell and District branch of the Royal British Legion joined counterparts from around the world in commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Great Pilgrimage to the First World War battlefields of Ypres on August 8.

The Bakewell and District branch of the Royal British Legion joined counterparts from around the world in commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Great Pilgrimage to the First World War battlefields of Ypres on August 8.