‘An honour we will never forget’ - Legion members on Great Pilgrimage 90 march from Ypres to Menin Gate

Members of the Fakenham branch of The Royal British Legion have spoken of their pride at taking part in the organisation’s biggest membership event in history to pay respects to those who lost their lives in the First World War.

The Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP 90) saw two representatives from every branch and county or their local community carry their standards along the route in Ypres to the Menin Gate, representing an entire generation that served while defending their country.

They recreated the historic event of August 8, 1929 where, a decade after the end of the war, veterans and war widows visited the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres before marching to the Menin Gate.

A spectacular two-mile march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate Memorial, led by 1,100 standard bearers, was the culmination of the three day event which saw the 2,200 participants visit the First World War trenches, battlefields and cemeteries of France and Belgium.

Kenneth Peter Thomas and Diane Boisson attended the Great Pilgrimage 90 as representatives of the Fakenham branch, as a standard bearer and wreath layer respectively.

Mr Thomas and Mrs Boisson said: “Being part of such an historic event, representing Fakenham branch in commemorating those that lost their lives in the First World War, was an honour and something we will never forget.”

Bob Gamble, The Royal British Legion’s head of commemorative events, said: “GP90, was the Legion’s biggest membership event in modern history and is a suitable tribute from the members of The Royal British Legion in honour of the First World War generation, echoing the way the British Legion community commemorated the 10th anniversary of the conflict in 1928.”

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We have previously reported how, as part of this event, Walsingham RBL section asked the children of Walsingham Primary School to write a message to be placed on the poppy wreath that will be laid at the Menin Gate to honour those from the village who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Former solider Liam Young, from Dereham, was also amongst those who attended.