On September 24, 220 Grenadier Guards and their families enjoyed the support of the British Prime Minister as they gathered to set off on a 233 mile trek to the Belgian battlefields, from Folkstone to the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres and onwards to Waterloo.
Veteran Grenadier Nathan Cumberland, 29, who lost both legs to an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009, stood on the start line and waved the Camp Colour. The Prime Minister even set the cyclists on their way to Belgium with a rousing “Ready, Steady, Go!”
The ride was to support the Colonel’s Fund, Grenadier Guards. The fund was launched in 2007 when it became clear that the intensity of operations in Afghanistan had resulted in significant casualties for the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards. The Fund, via charity, now provides the necessary support for those who were seriously injured or suffer from mental difficulties and to families of those who have been killed.
In Belgium, the serving and veteran guardsmen ended their tour at the famous field of Waterloo as it is a significant battle honour for the regiment; Waterloo is where the regiment was awarded its title « Grenadier Guards » and its distinctive bearskin caps.
British Ambassador to Belgium Jonathan Brenton hailed the Grenadier Guard’s initiative:
What you represent as a regiment will continue to be honoured and highlighted here in Belgium through your involvement in the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden for Wellington Barracks in London and the prominence the regiment will be given at the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo in June 2015
The Colonel’s Fund has HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel, Grenadier Guards, as its Patron. On 11th November 2013 The Duke of Edinburgh, Senior Colonel, Household Division and Colonel, Grenadier Guards, will attend a Last Post ceremony in Ypres, Belgium, to mark gathering of soil from Flanders Fields for a memorial garden at the Guards Museum in London.
For more information on the Wellington2Waterloo bike ride visit:
For more information on the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden in London visit: