Hampshire motorcyclists travel 500 miles to remember unknown WWI soldiers

The group outside Westminster Abbey.

The group outside Westminster Abbey.

First published in Winchester Andover Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A GROUP of Hampshire motorcyclists have completed a 500-mile ride in memory of the unknown soldiers of World War One.

The Royal British Legion riders travelled across Southern England, northern France, Belgium and back again, tracing the journey made by the Unknown Warrior’s body when it was removed from France to Westminster Abbey in 1920.

It represents the many fallen soldiers whose identities were never found.

In a short service conducted by Rev Jan Peterson, John Smith, vice chairman of Hampshire Royal British Legion, laid the county’s wreath on the tomb which stands at the west door of the Abbey. Tourists stood by to hear Mr Smith read the poem sent to the First World War widows of all known and unknown servicemen on the day the Unknown Warrior was laid to rest.

Two days earlier, on the centenary since the outbreak of the Great War, Mr Smith, Colin Hanson and Clive Luscombe of the Riders’ Branch laid wreaths during the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres.

The route saw them visit a number of cemeteries where crosses and poppies were laid.

The majority of the group rode on Honda C90 motorcycles.

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