We salute you: More than 5,000 bikers pay tribute to fallen service personnel


Blackleaf
#1
More than 5000 "Hell's Angels" converged on the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, on Saturday to pay tribute to Britain's fallen service personnel.

The National Memorial Arboretum, which opened in 2001, pays tribute to Britain's war dead.

The Arboretum is so called as it contains over 5000 trees. Some are being planted every year. There are several memorials, mainly statues and sculptures, commemorating different occasions and organisations. These include memorials for the Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women, the Boys' Brigade, the Burma Railways (with 90 feet of the originals rails and sleepers used on the Burma Railway), a Polar Bear Memorial (to pay tribute to 49th Infantry West Riding Division who were known as "The Polar Bears" during WWII because they were stationed in Iceland), a memorial for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), a "shot at dawn" statue to remember the 306 British personnel shot for cowardice or desertion during WWI and a Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) Garden.

But dominating the site is the Armed Forces Memorial.

The Armed Forces Memorial, within the National Memorial Arboretum, was opened in October 2007 and honours the 16,000 British service personnel killed in action or as a result of terrorism since World War II.

The Memorial takes the form of an Earth tumulus, or mound, around 300 feet in diameter, that is similar to mounds like Silbury Hill and those around Stonehenge.

Inside the Memorial are bronze sculptures. The Stretcher Bearers sculpture shows a wounded serviceman borne by comrades, watched by grieving family. It represents the cost of armed conflict on those left behind. The Gates sculpture group shows the body of a fallen serviceman taken into the arms of his comrades, and a figure pointing through the Great Gates of Eternity to Paradise. The structure is aligned so that at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the sun's rays will stream through the gap to illuminate the centre of the Memorial.

On Saturday, the second annual Ride To The Wall (RTTW) attracted motorcyclists from all over the country, from as far away as Penzance, Brighton and the empty wastes of northern Scotland.

Many of the bikers are former military men, who proudly wore their medals.

We salute you: More than 5,000 bikers pay tribute to fallen service personnel

By Daily Mail Reporter
10th October 2009
Daily Mail


The Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, was opened by the Queen in October 2007. It pays tribute to the 16,000 British service men and women who have lost their lives in war or through terrorism since World War II.


The Stretcher Bearers: One of the bronze sculptures inside the Armed Forces Memorial.


More than 5,000 bikers converged on the national Armed Forces Memorial today to pay their respects to the servicemen and women killed in the line of duty since World War Two.

The second annual Ride To The Wall (RTTW) attracted motorcyclists from as far away as Penzance, Brighton and northernScotland to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.



Once a Marine: Bikers clutching wreaths line up at the National Memorial in the second annual Ride to the Wall in Alrewas, Staffordshire

Dozens of veterans with military medals pinned to their riding leathers and a Major General in uniform were among those who attended a service of remembrance at the arboretum.

Major General Lamont Kirkland, who had ridden his Harley-Davidson from his base in Aldershot, Hampshire, to Alrewas, tipped the RTTW to become even bigger in future years.


Dozens of veterans attended a service of remembrance


Respects: One of the bikers pauses by the list of names on the wall today

Talking to the media before today's service, he said of the event: "I think what you have seen today is the start of something really big - this will grow over time.


The Gates sculpture at the Armed Forces Memorial shows the body of a fallen serviceman taken into the arms of his comrades, and a figure pointing through the Great Gates of Eternity to Paradise. The structure is aligned so that at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the sun's rays will stream through the gap (the Great Gates) to illuminate the centre of the Memorial.

"It's deeply emotional and it's deeply poignant - bikers are deeply respectful people.

"It shows we are supported very strongly at home and that the Army has never been held in higher regard."


Vroom: More than 5,000 bikers turned out to pay their respects to the servicemen and women killed in the line of duty since the Second World War


Bikers hit the road for the second annual 'Ride to the Wall' at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire

The attendance at this year's RTTW - more than double the number who joined the inaugural ride - was the largest at the arboretum this year.

It is hoped the event, which featured a fly-past by a Spitfire fighter and the laying of wreaths at the memorial, will raise tens of thousands of pounds for the 150-acre arboretum.

dailymail.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Oct 15th, 2009 at 01:44 PM..
 
coldstream
#2
The Hell's Angels MC seems to be an enthusiasts and recreational club in the U.K.. Not here or the U.S.. I remember the uproar in caused over here, in the wake of the biker wars in Quebec for control of the drug trade, which took scores of lives, including an 11 year old bystander and off duty prison guards, when they were invited to join Queen Elizabeth's Golden Anniversary Parade.

They are 1 per centers, bad boys on this side of the pond.
 
Cannuck
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstreamView Post

The Hell's Angels MC seems to be an enthusiasts and recreational club in the U.K.. Not here or the U.S..

Or in the UK. These 5000 were not the Hell's Angels. There may have been a few Angels there no doubt....good publicity never hurts.
 
Ron in Regina
#4
Hell's Angels....some on Japanese Bikes....many with Full Face Helmets. Interesting.
We don't see that in North America.
 
AnnaG
#5
Boring day in the UK, Mr. Leaf?
If turtles had shown up to pay tribute, it'd be interesting. lol
 
jambo101
#6
It should have read 5000 bikers not 5000 Hells Angels any one in the biker scene knows there arent 5000 Angels in Britain.
 

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