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The Great Pilgrimage

The Rushden Echo, 13th January 1928, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Pilgrimage being arranged by the British Legion to enable members to visit Flanders battlefields (referred to in our last issue) will be made extremely interesting. Special trains, each containing parties of about 500, will make daily tours to places of interest; thus, three nights will be spent in towns. On Aug 8th all the pilgrims will be assembled at Ypres, where at a grand march-past of all the pilgrims Field-Marshall Earl Haig will take the salute. There will also be a commemoration service and the laying of wreaths at the Menin Gate memorial. A ceremony will be held near Amiens which will have a special Dominion aspect, and local receptions will be arranged in the towns in France and Belgium in which the pilgrims are lodged. Instead of pilgrims staying at the usual hotels, they will come into closer contact with the French and Belgians by going into private lodgings, which are all being arranged.

The Rushden Argus, 3rd August 1928, transcribed by Kay Collins

Sad Quests of Many Local Members of the Party
Quartered in the French Boot and Shoe Trade Centre

On Thursday the advance guard of the great Battlefields Pilgrimage, organised by the British Legion, crossed over to France and Belgium to prepare for the 11,000 who will invade the Great War area this weekend. Below we present a few notes concerning the people from this district who are to take part in this memorable tour.

Rushden’s Contingent

A 76-years-old Rushden father—Mr G E Denton, of Cromwell-road—is about to visit the grave of his soldier son in France for the first time. He had six sons who served in the war: three were wounded and one was killed.

Of the 20 pilgrims from the Rushden district all but four will be visiting their relatives’ graves in the land of poppies for the first time. Mrs Sherwood, of Albion-place, had six sons on service, and she has two graves to visit, while Mrs Whiting, of North-street, had three sons who gave their lives.

Twelve men and eight women will form the Rushden contingent. Four of the pilgrims will have all their expenses met by the Rushden Boot Manufacturer’s Association.

The Rushden party, in addition to those mentioned, included; Mr G W Miller and Mr H R Mead, Moor-road; Miss Whiting, North-street; Mrs S Clark, 51 Harborough-road; Mr Frederick Noble, Oval-road; Mrs Marlow, Little-street; Mr and Mrs Mepham, Robinson-road; Mr and Mrs Crouch, Newton-road; Mr Hooton, Purvis-road; and Mr Lewis, Higham Ferrers.

The Rushden group will be in three parties, some staying at Roubaix and others at Valenciennes. The first lot will leave Rushden at 9.5 on Saturday night, and then go from Wellingborough at 1.45 Sunday morning. The ladies will leave Bedford at 8.6 on Sunday morning.

Arrangements have been made for Mrs Goodband and Mr Sydney Green to take these gratis to Bedford by car. All the local arrangements have been made by Mr R F Smith, the secretary of the Rushden branch of the British Legion.

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