Ford Supports British Legion Fund-Raising On Somme Tour
BRENTWOOD, Essex, 30 June, 2006 – Cyclists embarking on a fund-raising tour of World War One battlefields in mid-June will be escorted by a support crew in a Galaxy MPV provided Ford of Britain.
Marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, the four-day commemorative tour has been organised by the Royal British Legion with the support of Ford, to give participants the chance to visit key locations of the battle.
In the process, the sponsored riders are expected to raise around Ł12,000 in support of the Legion’s charitable work on behalf of ex-Services personnel.
From their base in the town of Peronne, the 15 cyclists will visit historic battle sites such as Thiepval, Hamel, Beaumont Hamel and Albert. They will be joined on the trip by a British Legion support crew of eight.
“Ford has supported us for 10 years on our flagship event, the ’Pedal to Paris’, in which up to 250 cyclists take up the challenge every year,” said Rebecca Pride, the Royal British Legion’s Events Organiser. “Ford has always supplied us with Galaxys, and we have found them to be perfect for carrying lots of people and equipment.
“We leave nothing to chance, and even on a smaller trip like this one, our team includes everyone from mechanics to sports therapists.
“The Galaxy’s job is to carry the support crew and supplies, to leapfrog ahead of the cyclists and generally to act like a sheepdog with a flock of sheep!”
The Battle of the Somme was one of the biggest and bloodiest confrontations of the war. It raged from July to November 1916, with massive losses on both sides.
The first day of the battle, 1 July, was the most tragic in the British Army’s history, with more than 19,000 dead and 38,000 wounded. By the end of the war, more than 200,000 British troops had died on the Somme.
The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading charity, providing financial, social and emotional support to members and ex-members of the Armed Forces and their dependants. Some 10.5 million people qualify for its support, and with more than 450,000 members, the Legion is the UK’s largest membership organisation.
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