Tribute to First World War cyclists to be held at CWGC Arras Memorial as part of 5th stage of Tour De France
08 July 2015
The event coincides with the start of the fifth stage of the Tour de France, which will depart from the memorial and is dedicated to honouring the fallen of the First World War.
Equipped with the same rifle the infantry carried, cyclists provided a vital mobile combat force.
If terrain permitted, they could be used mounted for reconnaissance and communications, and if not, they could still run messages, or fight as infantrymen, leaving their bicycles behind.
Theirs was a dangerous job, and a number of cyclists are buried or commemorated with dignity across the CWGC's cemeteries and memorials, including Arras.
Today's event will take place at 10am, and will be attended by French Secretary of State Jean-Marc Todeschini as well as representatives and former competitors of the Tour de France.
CWGC Head of External Engagement in Western Europe, Carl Liversage, said: 'From the start of the conflict, the bicycle and the men who rode them, were vital to the Allied war effort.
'We are extremely grateful to the organisers, teams and riders of the Tour de France for their participation in this act of remembrance and for choosing Arras for the 5th stage of this year's tour.'