Celebrating The Centenary of the End of the First World War
Creating a footpath stretching 450 miles along the Western Front was the idea of a First World War soldier, just hours before his death at the age of 26.
Douglas Gillespie was a 2nd Lieutenant who fought with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during World War One and a prolific writer of his horrors experienced on the front. His letters home expressed how he would like to set up the walk “once the war was ended” to send every man, woman and child on “the most beautiful road in the world” so they might contemplate the horrors of war as witnessed by the silent majority on either side.
The idea has been buried amongst his many letters for over 100 years but have now surfaced and a campaign has been set up to realise his dream. Among others, Sir Anthony Seldon, historian and former headmaster of Wellington College, has taken on the challenge by putting pressure on the British, French and Belgium governments to get the scheme up and running. It will celebrate the lives of those who fought on all sides during this horrific war.
The first stage of the walk will be finished in early 2019 with a pathway running from Arras to Ypres and will include pathway markers for walkers. This first 100 miles of the path for peace should be a permanent reminder of the beauty that comes from such horrors and a great way for everyone to remember as they celebrate the brainchild of Douglas Gillespie.
How Can You Get Involved?
For further details visit the Western Front Way website.