ROYAL British Legion members from across Wiltshire walked with pride as part of pilgrimage that followed the footsteps of First World War veterans and war widows who took part in a parade to the Menin Gate Memorial in Belgium in 1928.

On Wednesday men and women from Wiltshire branches were part of the biggest ceremonial event in the history of the Royal British Legion.

Among those chosen to take part were Seend members Kevin Toft who was standard bearer and Robin Heatley who carried a wreath bearing a message from Seend primary school. Devizes branch was represented by husband and wife couple Chas and Jan Stonestreet as standard bearer and wreath layer. Other members of Devizes branch also made the journey to Ypres and visited battlefields and graves.

Lt Col Bobby Haslam, chairman of the Devizes branch, paid tribute to Sgt Harry Perrett from Rowde who is buried in the Artillery Wood cemetery north of Ypres. He said: "I laid a Poppy Cross, with the Devizes Branch RBL lapel badge fastened to the top."

He said that Mr and Mrs Stonestreet found the whole trip emotional and taking part in the parade an experience they will never forget.

Robin Heatley vice chairman of the Seend branch said: "Over 2000 standard bearers and wreath bearers from 1,150 branches throughout the United Kingdom paraded through the town of Ypres, exactly 90 years after the original pilgrimage.

"Marching behind the band of HM Royal Marines Scotland following the same route, the parade formed up at the Menin Gate where, after a short ceremony, the wreaths were laid.

"In 1928 the British Legion, as it was then known, had organised a pilgrimage for over 11,000 WW1 veterans and war widows, taking them back to the battlefields where their loved ones had fought and died, followed by a parade and ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial in the Belgian town of Ypres."