A Shropshire businessman has organised a 100-mile charity cycle ride to mark the final year of the First World War centenary and raise money for the Royal British Legion.
Brothers Robin Morris, chairman of fifth-generation family business Morris & Company, and Chris Morris, chief executive officer and managing director of Morris Site Machinery, will be joined by 15 prominent business people and friends for the challenge on Saturday 8 September.
The Morris brothers have their personal reasons for taking part, as the company lost a number of employees in the great conflict and their grandfather Cliff Morris served in the war and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 1999 at the age of 100.
The intrepid group will get on their bikes to start the ride from the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas after laying a wreath. The route has been planned to stop off at the Legion’s Battle Back Centre at Lilleshall, which supports wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, and the Wilfred Owen Memorial at Oswestry.
The Morris and Company Remembrance Cycle Ride ends after around eight hours at Shrewsbury’s war memorial near St Chad’s Church in Quarry Park where the Last Post will be sounded.
Robin said: “We have been inspired by the Royal British Legion’s #ThankYou100 campaign to show our gratitude and remember the First World War generation who gave so much.
“Like most of our group, I’ve never cycled such a distance before so it will be a real test of our stamina and fitness. It will be worth it because it’s for a great cause. We want to raise as much as possible to support the Legion’s work. Any donations will be gratefully received.”
They also thanked associates from a range of companies and organisations who answered the call to join the ride, including W R Davies for planning the route and Dave Mellor Cycles for offering technical support ahead of and during the ride.
Anyone who wishes to donate can do so at: http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/morrisandcocycleride
Jenny Robey, Community Fundraiser for Shropshire, Royal British Legion, said; “The First World War left so many legacies that positively impact our lives today, from ground-breaking social change to pioneering innovations. The end of the centenary is a chance for us all to thank not only the British Armed Forces who fought and gave their lives, but the thousands who fought alongside them from countries from across today’s Commonwealth, and the countless men, women and children who played their part on the home front.
“We are thrilled that Morris and Company are conducting their own Thank You event with this cycle ride and remembering their own that were involved in the First World War, as well as raising vital funds for today’s Armed Forces Community.
“We all have a connection to the First World War and we all have a reason to say thank you to this special generation. We are making a plea to every single person across the UK to get involved and take a moment in this very significant year to say Thank You.”
Pictured: Robin Morris (right) with Dave Mellor of Dave Mellor Cycles.