Local men set for WWI commemoration event

The wreath local RBL members will lay at the Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90) remembrance event.
The wreath local RBL members will lay at the Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90) remembrance event.

Members of the Loughbrickland branch of The Royal British Legion are to join thousands in a pilgrimage of Remembrance as part of the end of the First World War centenary commemorations.

The Royal British Legion event, known as Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90), takes place between August 5-9 and 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.

Local Legion members, Alan McKee and Fred Cairns will represent the Loughbrickland Branch and the local community at the event, as Standard Bearer and wreath layer respectively.

Alan and Fred 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.

Once at the Menin Gate, Fred will lay a wreath on behalf of the Loughbrickland community.

Fred said: “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.

“The Loughbrickland Branch looks forward to proudly representing Loughbrickland area at the event.”

As local champions of Remembrance, the Loughbrickland Branch of The Royal British Legion has been working in partnership with their community to bring their unique Remembrance message to the Menin Gate, on their wreath, where it will be displayed in a wreath installation for viewing by the general public until the end of August.

Two schools - Scarva Primary and Bronte Primary - have written messages that will be attached to the wreath.