For your diary:

The Royal British Legion

As we are such a small group at our monthly meetings, we now meet in each other’s houses.  If you would like to join us please contact me and I will let you know where our next meeting, which is on Tuesday 13thNovember, will be.  You would be made most welcome.

Peter Brinck 01935 891822

 

The Royal British Legion

The alarm went off at 4.30am on Sunday 5thAugust in order that Simon Roriston and I could be at Bournemouth coach station by 7.00am to start our journey to France to attend the Great Pilgrimage 90.  This was a re-enactment to commemorate the pilgrimage that took place in 1928. That pilgrimage was on the tenth anniversary marking the last 100 days of the First World War.  I had been to the battlefield sites and cemeteries on a tour before as my father, and my uncle who was killed, were both in the war.  I know this makes it sound as if I am 120 years old, not a mere 81, but my father was born in 1882 and did not marry until he was 45 and I think I was an afterthought!

We arrived at the hotel just outside Lille in time for dinner and then had an early night in preparation for an early start on Monday.  Monday and Tuesday were very full days spent visiting battlefield sites, cemeteries and museums.  On Tuesday we all gathered at the front of the hotel ready to depart, only to hear that our coach had been broken into overnight and the police were busy taking fingerprints.  The thieves had taken not only the Satnav and the dash cam, but also some of the wreaths that we were due to lay, and also the coach’s documents.  I am glad to say that somebody had found the wreaths and documents and handed them in.

Wednesday was the day of the ceremony, when well over 2,000 members of the legion paraded through the centre of Ypres ending at the Menin Gate where the service took place and the wreaths were laid.  It was a very moving service taken by The Right Reverend James Newcombe DL, the National Chaplain of the Legion and included readings of accounts from those that were there in 1918.

On Thursday we were having breakfast, prior to starting our journey home, when the fire alarms went off - but nobody seemed too worried and we were not asked to evacuate the hotel so we continued with our breakfast!  On the return journey we visited more places of interest before arriving home at about 11.00pm.  We had a great group of people on our coach, which was one of 52 coaches needed to convey us all, and a very knowledgeable courier who was able to inform us, in great detail, of all the events that took place in those final days of the war. It was a most enjoyable experience and I feel honoured that I was part of it.

 

Peter Brinck 01935 891822

 

 

 

 

Print Print | Sitemap
© Halstock Village