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Fifty bikers from the Boundary 500 Motorcycle group set off at the weekend to travel around 400 miles from Sedgefield in County Durham to the Belgian town of Ypres to commemorate the fallen in World War I, which started exactly 100 years ago on 28 July 1914, the Northern Echo reports.

 

The pilgrimage started from Sedgefield on Saturday, when a wreath blessing ceremony was held. The bikers were given hundreds of crosses, each of which was engraved with a personal tribute to the fallen made by a local resident.

 

Those crosses are to be planted by the bikers along the route of their journey to battlefields across France and Belgium, including historic sites like the Somme, Passchendaele and Arras (pictured). A photograph of each planted cross was taken and sent back to the UK and the person who made the tribute, Boundary 500 founder Brian Laverick told the local newspaper.

 

The last stop will be on Monday, 28 July, at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres, which is engraved with the names of thousands who lost their lives in the conflict. There the motorcyclists will lay a wreath on behalf of the Durham region. In Laverick's words, being invited to the service at the memorial is a very proud moment for the motorcycle group.

 

The visit is being supported by Sedgefield Village Veterans and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. At the blessing ceremony on Saturday, the Lord Lieutenant of Durham, Sue Snowden, said it was important to commemorate the war and noted that society owes a great debt to those who fought in it.

 

Image: Stephen Meese / Shutterstock.com

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