The Mayor of Burnley has wished two Burnley veterans well ahead of their travels to Europe as part of The Royal British Legion's 'Great Pilgrimage 90', an event marking the 90th anniversary of the original Royal British Legion pilgrimage in 1928.
Local veterans Mr. Billy Allot and Mr. Vince Pridden will be taking part in the GP90 event between the 5th and 9th of August and received the well-wishes of the Mayor of Burnley Charlie Briggs ahead of one of the largest events in the The Royal British Legion's history.
The 1928 pilgrimage saw 11,000 WWI veterans and war widows visit the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres in Belgium a decade after the conflict ended, culminating in a march through Ypres to the Menin Gate Memorial for a ceremony commemorating the ‘100 Days Offensive’ that led to the end of the conflict and to remember those that never returned home.
“Great Pilgrimage 90 is a unique opportunity for the legion community to come together and bear our standards along the same route in Ypres taken 90 years earlier by the veterans and widows of the First World War," said Billy, who is Vice-Chairman of the Burnley & Padiham branch of the Royal British Legion.
Vince and Billy will both be representing both the Burnley & Padiham branch and the wider local community at the event as standard bearer and wreath layer respectively, and will tour some of the same battlefields and cemeteries visited by those on the 1928 pilgrimage with more than 2,200 other legion representatives and dignitaries. Once at the Menin Gate, Billy will lay a wreath on behalf of the Burnley and Padiham community.
Joining the Mayor were Burnley Councillors Lubna Khan and Lian Pate, who raised money to help cover the cost of the pilgrimage by completing a sponsored run and said: “We would like to thank everyone who made a contribution in support of the Legion’s pilgrimage fund.
"We hope Billy and Vincent enjoy a memorable trip, and wish them well as they represent the borough at this historic occasion," they added.