Photo: On the 11th hour (in the UK) of the 11th day of the 11th month I stood in silence for two minutes in San Giovanni in Marignano during my ride to honour the fallen.
I have recently become an International Super Randonneur. I achieved this by completing rides in Slovenia, Italy, France and the UK. One of the reasons I am free to ride my bike around Europe is the sacrifices that so many made during WW2.
To pay my respects and to say thank you I visited a number of Commonwealth War Graves and other memorials along what was the Gothic Line, on my bike.
I spent some time at each thinking about those laid out in front of me. I found my first stop at Montecchio particularly emotional as the first grave I came across was a 20 year old who, like me, was from Hampshire. Private V. G. Russell only just made it out of his teens. I have made it to 62. Sobering.
Canadian War Memorial, Tavullia
CWG Coriano Ridge
Greek Military Cemetery, Rimini