From August 5 until August 9, Rye Royal British Legion Branch Standard Bearer Paul Whiteman, and Vice President David Pawsey represented the Rye area at the British Legion ‘Great Pilgrimage 90 Parade and One Hundred Days Ceremony’, a prestigious event commemorating the centenary of the “Hundred Days” offensive, which led to the end of the 1st World War, and 90 years from when the Royal British Legion last organised a battlefields and cemetery pilgrimage for over 11,000 veterans and war widows.
Paul and David first visited battlefields, memorials and war graves on the Somme, then Flanders Fields, culminating with 1,150 Standard bearers, and 1,150 wreath bearers, from all over the United Kingdom marching through the town of Ypres, Paul carrying the Rye Royal British Legion standard, and David carrying the wreath for the fallen of Rye.
David said “to lay the wreath at the Menin Gate, was the greatest honour I could have, a humbling and emotional experience for both of us”.
Paul was very moved to stand a few yards from the Menin Gate on which is engraved the name of his greatncle, Charles Herbert Scott, from Beckley who died on the 10th August 1917, and has no known grave.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
(Laurence Binyon ‘For the Fallen’ The Times, September 1914)
Photos: Paul Whiteman and David Pawsey
Image Credits: Neale East .