WWI cyclist played important roles in reconnaissance and providing communications at the front

Service remembers World War One cyclists

As the nation marks one hundred years since the beginning of World War One, a service has been held to commemorate the cyclists who gave their lives during the conflict.

Held at Meriden, West Midlands on Sunday May 18th, around 400 cyclists attended the CTC-organised event. It was the CTC that erected a memorial to WWI’s cyclists in 1921.

The first British and Commonwealth soldier killed in the First World War was Private John Parr, a reconnaissance cyclist who lost his life on August 21st 1914.

The ceremony saw the Bishop of Warwick lead the ceremony to mark the 100 years of the start of the Great War who then also unveiled a new plaque dedicated to cyclists killed in action since 1945.

John Bennett, one of the organisers of the event says: “We were very pleased to have a great turn out on the day. It was fantastic to see cyclists come from far and wide to mark this occasion and pay their respect to cyclists who fought and died in the war.”

Among the crowd was CTC member Barrie Hodges from Nottinghamshire, who has served in the army himself and has been attending the cyclists’ service more or less every year since 1972.

Images credit: Ed Holt

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