Upper Slaughter gives thanks for safe return of WW1 soldiers

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Rev Canon Veronica James from St Peter's Church in Upper Slaughter with her Triumph Bonneville bike who joined an entourage of outriders for the Thankful Villages poppy appeal event Rev Canon Veronica James from St Peter's Church in Upper Slaughter with her Triumph Bonneville bike who joined an entourage of outriders for the Thankful Villages poppy appeal event

A COTSWOLD village gave thanks last Saturday for being one of 51 villages in the UK to not have a First World War memorial.

Medwyn Parry and Dougie Bancroft rode Triumph Trophy motorbikes through all 51 of the 'thankful villages' in the UK, the only ones where residents waved goodbye to their soldiers before the First World War but then rejoiced upon every one of their safe return.

Amazingly, 14 of the 51 villages are doubly thankful as they not only welcomed the return of all of their soldiers after the First World War, but also received them all back, safe, after the Second World War.

The men began their 2,500 mile journey near Aberystwyth in Wales but the first village in England they arrived in was Upper Slaughter.

Chairman of the Royal British Legion Bourton-on-the-Water branch John Cork said the day at Upper Slaughter went really well: "It was great to see the men arrive on their motorbikes. They had an entourage of about 40 people, all riding bikes."

"There was a nice crowd waiting for them too," he continued. "Everyone had tea and coffee and lots of cake and there was a small church service."

Mr Parry and Mr Bancroft both received an appreciation certificate from the Bourton-on-the-Water branch of the Royal British Legion.

The two men hope to raise a total of £51,000 for the Royal British Legion, one thousand for every thankful village.

Their journey ends this Sunday, August 4. Anyone who wishes to get involved, either by being a member of the entourage or by welcoming the two men to a thankful village, details can be found at thankfulvillagesrun.com

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