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Gibraltar represented in international pilgrimage to WWI battlefields

Gibraltar represented in international pilgrimage to WWI battlefields

Members of the Gibraltar branch of The Royal British Legion will be joining thousands on a pilgrimage of Remembrance to World War One battlefields this month to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

The event recreates similar pilgrimage held in 1928 and will culminate with a parade and ceremony in Ypres.

A decade after the end of WW1, veterans and war widows visited the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres before marching to the Menin Gate in Ypres on August 8, 1928.

The Royal British Legion event, known as Great Pilgrimage 90, takes place this week and will be one of the largest in the charity’s history.

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“Exactly 90 years later on 8 August 2018, thousands of Legion members will carry their standards, ours included, along the same route to the Menin Gate, to commemorate the last 100 days of WW1 and represent an entire generation that served while defending their country,” said local branch Chairman, Lt Col (Rtd) Francis Brancato.

The parade to the Menin Gate will be followed by a Service of Remembrance and a number of exhibitions and musical performances.

Tommy Soldier 06-08-19  (Photo John Bugeja) in Frontier entrance and Arrivals Hall Air Terminal

Tommy Soldier 06-08-19 (Photo John Bugeja) in Frontier entrance and Arrivals Hall Air Terminal

A number of Gibraltarians lost their lives on the Western Front including Lt Solomon Benzecry, the hero of the action at Belleau Wood, the centenary of whose death is commemorated on November 20 of this year.

The local branch will be represented at the event by two members – the Branch Flag Bearer, Louis Lopez, ex RSM of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, and Ralph Capurro, ex Warrant Officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

They will join more than 2,200 other Legion representatives and dignitaries, including Civic and military guests from the UK, Commonwealth and Europe.

Pics by Johnny Bugeja

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