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Remembered Today:

BIG BATTLEFIELD BIKE RIDE


salientguide
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The last week of May will see the Big Battlefield Bike Ride, (the official name has since changed as now sponsored by a well known High St and super store car parts and cycle chain but wont advertise here.) organised by Help for Heroes, a charity raising funds to improve rehab facilities for service personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

300 sponsored cyclists are setting off by ferry from Portsmouth to France then progressing northwards.

Initially they go via various WW2 sites but by about day four they head more inland for Great War sites Thiepval, Newfoundland Park and out via Amiens.

The Guild of Battlefield Guides was approached to help with the guiding at various stops and happily five members, including myself, are giving freely of their time and expertise to accompany the participants, (in two cars I am ashamed to say but dont think I could now peddle that far,) to ensure they get the maximum out of each stop, linking past sacrifices with those of the current generation.

Have a look at Help for Heroes website if interested and if around Thiepval at the end of the month, - honk or wave if you see the crowd. SG

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Chris,

well done on giving up your valuable free time to support such a worthy cause, wishing you and all the peddlers the very best of luck, perhaps when you return you could post some pics of the Great War related sites you pass?

Best wishes,

Regards,

Scottie.

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Chris,

Fantasic, I had not heard of the charitable efforts of this very wothwhile cause, like you I would not be able to manage the bike ride, as much as I would like to. Can I sponsor your efforts in any way, well money....carn't drive? good on the supporters and helpers.

Impressed by the "High St and super store car parts and cycle chain" for their choice in charity. (Cheers for the link Mick)

Regards Charles

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Charles thank you. I think if you visit their site on the link posted by Mick above there will be a way on there to make a donation.

Mick was just keeping that under my hat. These things are always slightly touchy. I know from posts on the H4H website forum some participants were finding the name being prominently associated with one company was hindering their efforts to obtain sponsorship from Others. Though to be fair to the big H I understand they have made a sizeable donation to be associated with the event. The difficulties of modern commercial life!!

Scottie certainly will, will make sure the camera is ready and waiting.

Regards all SG

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Chris is being very modest with regard to his contribution to the event. Not only is he giving his time freely, but he and the other members of the Guild of Battlefield Guides who are involved are, I know, very busy researching and preparing in order that they give the very best support they can to this important event.

If members feel they would like to support everything Chris and his GBG colleagues, and, most importantly, the riders are doing, please do go to the H4H site and make a donation.

Well done to all of them!

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Willie you are very kind. Heard from leader Dudley today all coming together now. Kicks off monday evening at Portsmouth with celebratory display on seafront by Red Arrows to send everyone off. Overnight ferry, then various WW2 days but as said Thiepval Newfoundland and Amiens about Friday before heading back into WW2 at Dunkirk. Loos has been dropped I,m afraid slightly too much to crowd in. Weather permitting all riders will be taken off shore in landing craft from HMS Bulwark and deposited same way at Dover beach saturday evening. Sunday concludes with the Heroe Bike Ride in london down Whitehall etc where the 300 will be joined hopefully by family friends and anyone else who has registered to participate.

Will lety everyone know how especially the WW1 bits go and post some pics

Cheers SG

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  • 3 weeks later...
Willie you are very kind. Heard from leader Dudley today all coming together now. Kicks off monday evening at Portsmouth with celebratory display on seafront by Red Arrows to send everyone off. Overnight ferry, then various WW2 days but as said Thiepval Newfoundland and Amiens about Friday before heading back into WW2 at Dunkirk. Loos has been dropped I,m afraid slightly too much to crowd in. Weather permitting all riders will be taken off shore in landing craft from HMS Bulwark and deposited same way at Dover beach saturday evening. Sunday concludes with the Heroe Bike Ride in london down Whitehall etc where the 300 will be joined hopefully by family friends and anyone else who has registered to participate.

Will lety everyone know how especially the WW1 bits go and post some pics

Cheers SG

A spectacular sight this was last night. HMS Bulwark in Dover Harbour, with 6 landing craft up against the beach with the cyclists unloading. Shortly afterward the Red Devils parachuted into the water a few yards from the shore. Some images:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/doverpast/set...57605361753763/

Unfortunately it was an embarassing event for the town as it was so badly publicised, in fact local tourist and newpapers didn't know. With coming across this thread by accident last week I am sure the numbers could have been a lot lower :(

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Paul great pics at the end of a wonderful week. It was a privilege going on the tour and guiding at various stops. Best of all it raised ONE MILLION SQUIDS ! ! for the cause.

To see a fuller report look at

Guild of Battlefield Guides News

At Thiepval the CWGC kindly agreed to open the memorial to the ride for an hour for a wreath laying and visit. From there the riders went on to Newfoundland Park before heading north to bethune with a few, especially one lass from canada detouring to Vimy Ridge

At Thiepval the lady mayoress was a little flustered as she did not know we were passing through. None the less she insisted on being hoisted up ont the wall for an impromptu address of welcome.

post-4532-1212604899.jpg

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The gates were opened and all members of the tour and support entered for the main wreath laying ceremony.

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Once the ceremony was over, the guides had delivered their talks on Thiepval and the Memorial the Big Battlefield Bike Ride Cycling Circus, complete with army comms Land Rover, support vehicles, Guides car etc streamed away pasy Connaught and Mill rd cemeteries to the next stop at Newfoundland Park. that was the main area of the Great War for the ride although we had all stopped at Cruay cemetery outside Amiens the oprevious day. All riders were magnificent especially the team of servicemen from Headly Court several of whom completed the course using prosthetic limbs, special heroes Rory in a hand propelled three wheeled racing trike and Craig with lilmited sight on the rear of a tandem but all 300 were great and i felt quite ashamed to be driving with them, but the excuse always had to get up ahead and be ready for the next stand!

A wonderful experience. SG

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This is/was brill!

I didn't see Thiepval but saw Dover.

Chris?

Which regt.were the troops?

They look too big to be cadets :D

Dave.

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A spectacular sight this was last night. HMS Bulwark in Dover Harbour, with 6 landing craft up against the beach with the cyclists unloading. .....

.... Unfortunately it was an embarassing event for the town as it was so badly publicised, in fact local tourist and newpapers didn't know.

No publicity locally that I noticed, had I known I would have been there myself.
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Guest KevinEndon

Well done to everyone involved in the raising of £1m.

It looks as if a great trip was enjoyed.

CONGRATULATIONS ONE AND ALL

Kevin

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No publicity locally that I noticed, had I known I would have been there myself.

Most people I spoke to in the evening either found out by accident or via one of the forums in the Dover area that I posted on, other than that it seemed to be Harbour Board, police or cyclists relatives that were there...

Congratulations all for the Million raised !

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Dave no indeed not cadets, they were a regular signals unit with 2 land rovers. They all wore a blue badge with a silver spear on so presumably from one of the spearhead battalions. Came complete with a great RSM who dressed up in best ceremonials at each ceremony, and the loan of a Gurkha piper who played at each stop. Also a bugler for the ceremonies and who sent them off with the "Charge" from Pegasus Bridge and off the landing craft onto the beach!! SG

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