Sport

Forces Personnel Pedal 300 Miles For WW1 Commemorations

A veteran and serving military personnel have cycled 300 miles to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One.

A team including veteran and serving military personnel have cycled 300 miles to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One.

Six cyclists representing Rugby For Heroes made the journey from Twickenham to Compiègne in northern France, where the Armistice was signed 100 years ago.

The team was made up of four serving military personnel, one Army veteran and Rugby World Cup winner, Mike Tindall, who is also a patron for the charity.

When arriving in Compiègne, the group's lead cyclist Warrant Officer 1 Shaun Broom told Forces News: "For me, it's personal - obviously we got to ride from where the soldiers never came home and see where they fought over 100 years ago.

"You can't really understand how many people have died in such a small amount of time and every time I go there it's still humbling."

Army veteran Colin Osbourne said: "[WW1] never loses any significance or anything - it's a part of history and a part of everything we do now, its shaped all of our futures."

On the way to Compiègne, the group stopped off at a number of War Memorial sites, from Thiepval to Vimy Ridge, to remember those fallen.

Mr Tindall was very aware of how young the soldiers were when they died.

"Every grave was 20, 21, 22. I think there is some stat that almost half a generation of men were wiped out in that war. It is quite humbling when you see it and what they had to go though"

Later, he paid his respects to his grandfather's cousin who was buried at the Guards' Cemetery at Combles.

In November, Compiegne will be at the heart of remembrance ceremonies, but a rugby match between their Folkclowns team and a Rugby for Heroes select marked the start of their commemorations.

The match ended in a draw, with nine tries scored for each side.

Another remembrance rugby match is being held at union side Richmond FC, with tickets on sale at the Rugby for Heroes website.