Pilgrimage of soldiers

NRHNBE110703d5, Annual pilgrimage to the Crich War memorial to the Mercian regiment.
NRHNBE110703d5, Annual pilgrimage to the Crich War memorial to the Mercian regiment.

HUNDREDS of present and former soldiers joined local dignitaries and members of the public in Crich for the annual pilgrimage of the Mercian Regiment.

Alongside family members, they gathered at the war memorial in the village on Sunday, July 2, to pay their respects to all those from the regiment who gave their lives while in service for their country.

NRHNBE110703d6, Annual pilgrimage to the Crich War memorial to the Mercian regiment.

NRHNBE110703d6, Annual pilgrimage to the Crich War memorial to the Mercian regiment.

Cindy Baines, assistant regimental secretary, said: “It went extremely well and I think we had the greatest numbers so far. Around 3,000 people were there.

“I think a lot of people attended because of the re-dedication of the extended memorial to the soldiers recently killed in operation.

“It is turning into a family day. There were a lot of children and families. Everyone was paying their respects together and teaching the children what the memorial is all about.”

This year’s pilgrimage was led by the Colonel of the regiment, Brigadier Andrew Sharpe. The service of commemoration was conducted by the assistant Bishop of Derby, the Right Rev Jack Nicholls.

NRHNBE110703d7, Annual pilgrimage to the Crich War memorial to the Mercian regiment.

NRHNBE110703d7, Annual pilgrimage to the Crich War memorial to the Mercian regiment.

Before the pilgrimage service, the families of the men of the Mercian Regiment who were recently lost in conflict in Afghanistan gathered together at the Post 1945 memorial for the re-dedication of the extended memorial.

It is 89 years since the opening of the Memorial Tower, which was originally built to commemorate the 11,409 men of Sherwood Foresters who were killed in the First World War.

It was later dedicated to the memory of those who died during the Second World War and subsequent conflicts.