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News & Archives > Past Events > Sir Anthony Seldon - The Western Front Way

Sir Anthony Seldon - The Western Front Way

22 Mar 2024
Past Events

Join Sir Anthony Seldon as he discusses his journey of reflection along the Western Front Way and shares his thoughts on the legacy and memory of the First World War.

In 2021, Sir Anthony Seldon set out on a 35-day pilgrimage from the French-Swiss border to the English Channel, tracing the historic route of the Western Front.

His journey was inspired by Alexander Douglas Gillespie (OW), 1889-1915, a soldier who dreamed of creating a ‘Via Sacra’ that the people of Europe could walk to honour the fallen of the Great War.

I would make a fine broad road in the ‘No Man’s Land’ between the lines, with paths for pilgrims on foot, and plant trees for shade, and fruit trees, so the soil should not be altogether waste man, woman and child in Western Europe on pilgrimage along that Via Sacra, so that they might think and learn what war means from the silent witnesses on either side. A sentimental idea, perhaps, but we might make it the most beautiful road in all the world.

Lt. A. D. Gillespie, 14th June 1915

With others, Sir Anthony has created the Western Front Way, a path of remembrance along the line of the Western Front.  

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