5 February 2014

Vimy Ridge Day - April 9th 2014

When I bought Döra, I became a member of the Riders Association of Triumph - RAT.

This is something along the lines of HOG (Harley Owners Group), where the meetings are based at their dealers. Somewhere owners can come together and enjoy social activities. We tried something like it with Suzuki for the Suzuki Owners Club, but the mentality of the big-S dealers was somewhat lacking. "Open one evening a week?"/"Open the shop on a Sunday?" were two of the incredulous sounding responses from the dealer base.

Anyway, I digress. RAT.

The local branch is run out of Laguna Triumph in Ashford and is where I bought Döra last year. I've not been to anything yet as most things are evenings and I simply don't get home in time for 7pm starts, whether in the shop, or the pub across the road.

But, when my brother, Neill, forwarded on an email that his local branch had sent out, also Laguna but based at the Maidstone shop, with an invitation to members to sign up for a trip across to France to visit some WW1 war sites including Vimy Ridge, I decided I had to go.

I have been to Vimy before and the last time was on a borrowed Scarver, lent by the BMW dealer in Arras whilst they serviced my GS.


So... 

On April 9th 1917, the Canadian infantry rose from their trenches and captured the ridge at Vimy, overlooking the town of Arras on the plain below. 

Casualties for the three day battle were 3598 killed and over 7000 wounded. In 1922 the French government gave the land to Canada and the white marble memorial was unveiled in 1936. It commemorates the Canadian effort and sacrifice across all theatres of war on the western front and also the 11285 men that have no known grave.

On April 9th each year, for Vimy Ridge Day, there is a service of remembrance.

And this is why the Laguna RAT Pack is going over. We go over on the 0920 Eurotunnel service and return at 1750 the same day.

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2 comments:

Trobairitz said...

I think RAT is more relaxed than say HOG groups.

Hubby is part of RAT over here as well as TRAP (Triumph Riders Association of Portland) The are well over an hour away so we haven't really participated with them much, but see some members at the shop every once in a while.

Paul Devall said...

RAT are local to where I live and I am sure I can avoid getting involved.

Last year I was balancing three clubs and positions on committees or organising things, in the end I did neither well.

This year just my first love, the Kent Centre, remains. No BMW Club mileage trophy, no local MAG Group to think about.

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