Cookstown RBL representatives bound for Ypres

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A number of members of Cookstown Royal British Legion are to take part in World War 1 commemorations in Belgium.

They will join thousands on a pilgrimage of remembrance to World War One battlefields that culminates in a parade and ceremony in Ypres as part of the end of the First World War centenary commemorations this month.

The Royal British Legion event, known as Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90), takes place between

August 5-9 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 11,000 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, Susan Parke and Kenneth Kells will represent the Cookstown Branch and the local community at the event, as Standard Bearer and wreath layer respectively.

Susan Parke and Kenneth Kells 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, Kenneth Kells will lay a wreath on behalf of the Cookstown

community.

William Crooks, Chairman of the Cookstown Branch of The Royal British Legion, said: “Great Pilgrimage 90 is a unique opportunity for the Legion community to cometogether 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 Cookstown Branch looks forward to proudly representing Cookstown at the event.”

If you want to find out more about GP90 or your local Royal British Legion branch, then

please contact Natalie McComb, Branch Secretary.