From 8-14 May 2019, I walked the WW1 battlefields of ‘Flanders Fields’ in a personal pilgrimage of remembrance, sleeping rough under my old Army poncho and fundraising for #homesforveterans: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ross-Nichols
I did this for 3 reasons:
1. I’m the organiser of Salisbury International Coaching Week. We have been hosted annually since 2017 by a Salisbury-based charity, Alabare.co.uk, free of charge, so I would like to give something back to recognise their support.
2. Both my grandfathers and a number of
great uncles fought in the trenches during WW1, some of whom were killed and
wounded. I would like to pay my respects for their service and sacrifice.
3. On 11 November 2018 on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, I paraded with my Royal Engineer intake as a veteran for the first time. We were commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers 35 years previously and decided to base our reunion around Remembrance Day events in a village in middle England. I found myself unexpectedly moved by being part of this significant moment in our nation’s history. This experience has inspired me to do more. Supporting our homeless veterans feels like an appropriate way to honour the memory of the fallen: #homesforveterans
The experience of my pilgrimage was everything I hoped it would be and more. I walked 90 km, met some amazing people and visited key WW1 sites such as: Passchendaele, Tyne Cot, Hooge, Hill 62, Hill 60 and Mesen. Walking into Ypres towards the end, the bells of St Peters rang out and I truly felt like a pilgrim. The ‘Last Post’ ceremony at the Menin Gate was unforgettable. I’d like to generate more donations through speaking about my pilgrimage so if you know organisations or companies that might be interested, I would be grateful for an introduction. For more pictures and a fuller account of my pilgrimage, go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ross-Nichols