A PARTY from North Yorkshire are to join thousands on a pilgrimage of remembrance to a First World War battlefield.

Members of the Grewelthorpe and Kirkby Malzeard branches of The Royal British Legion (RBL), based near Ripon, are to join thousands of others heading to Ypres as part of the end of the First World War centenary commemorations this August.

The Royal British Legion event, known as Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90) takes place between August 5 and 9 and will be one of the largest in the charity’s history.

GP90 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.

That pilgrimage culminated in a march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate Memorial for a ceremony to commemorate the launch of The Hundred Days Offensive and in remembrance of those who never returned.

Local legion members, Edward Threapleton and Rod Macaulay will represent the Grewelthorpe Branch and the local community at the event, as standard-bearer and wreath-layer respectively. Craig Michael and Robert Forber will represent the Kirkby Malzeard Branch as standard-bearer and wreath-layer respectively.

All four individuals 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 the August 8, bearing their branch standard and a wreath.

They will join more than 2,200 other legion representatives and dignitaries, including civic and military guests from the UK, Commonwealth and Northern Europe who are taking part. Once at the Menin Gate, Rod and Robert will lay a wreath on behalf of the Grewelthorpe and Kirkby Malzeard communities.

Roger Chapman, the President of the Grewelthorpe Branch of The Royal British Legion, 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.

“Both the Grewelthorpe and Kirkby Malzeard Branches look forward to proudly representing the local community at the event.”

Both of the branches of The Royal British Legion will be working in partnership with local communities 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.

The parade will start at midday and the RBL is encouraging members of the public to make the trip across to Ypres for the August 8 and fill the Market Square to watch the parade, One Hundred Days ceremony and then enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment including The Central Band of the Royal British Legion. To find out more about GP90 or your local Royal British Legion branch, visit; britishlegion.org.uk