People have many different reasons for undertaking a challenge such as Ride to the Somme. We will highlight stories from …
Join Ride to the Somme 2017
via Passchendaele and Arras
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is the UK’s oldest national tri-service charity and at the outbreak of World War One, the Government called on it to take care of the families of the Armed Forces going to the Front. Ride to the Somme is a fundraising event with money raised helping servicemen and women, veterans and their families in need following present day conflicts.Click to learn more
What is the Ride to the Somme?
Battle of The Somme
The Battle of the Somme raged for 141 days in 1916 with nearly 60,000 British Army casualties on the first day. By November only 5 miles of ground had been gained. Fighting continued on the Somme for a further 2 years.
At the the outbreak of World War I the British Army was considerably smaller than other armies across Europe. It was supplemented by a Territorial Force of part time soldiers and included 15 Cycling Battalions. After suffering heavy casualties at The Battle of Mons in 1914 the British Army started recruiting a larger force.
Army Cycling Corps
The Army Cycling Corps was founded in 1914. The bicycle in World War I was deployed at the front line involved in the movement of men, reconnaissance and communications whilst at home cyclists were recruited for coastal defence work. In January 1916 the volunteer army needs reinforcements and conscription is introduced.
Ride to the Somme 2017 will commemorate the cycling soldiers that fought and fell across the Western Front as we ride 200 miles over 3 days. The Ride will commence on Wednesday 30 August and will culminate at The Thiepval Memorial, The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, on Sunday 3 September. We will visit Passchendaele and Arras en route.
When you enlist for the ride you will be asked to select a battalion that you wish to represent. We will visit a number of cemeteries which have graves of soldiers from the Army Cycling Corps before reaching Thiepval. We are keen to hear the stories from rider’s family histories and if possible will incorporate areas where they fought on the route.
We believe that not only will this be a fantastic cycling event but it will be an appropriate way to pay respects to those cyclists from 100 years ago who volunteered for their Country and made the ultimate sacrifice. As part of our team we will have an historian on the ride.