A COMMUNITY stalwart has completed a 400-mile cycle ride through the battlefields of the First World War to raise money for charity.

Bill Honeywell, 61, raised £1,200 for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which gives lifetime support to serving and retired soldiers and their families.

Bill, who is a former president of Clitheroe Rotary Club, started the challenge on Monday, August 4, alongside 55 other participants, most from the armed services, and headed to Niewpoort in Belgium from London.

He cycled along the old Western Front, through Menin Gate in Ypres and through battlefields including Passchendaele, ‘Plug Street’ and Vimy Ridge.

The group also passed by the Thiepval Monument and cross the Somme before they arrived in Compiegne near Paris on Sunday, August 9, where the Armistice was signed in November 1918.

Dad-of-two Bill, who lives in Southfield Drive, West Bradford, also abseiled down Blackpool’s Big One in June for a second year to raise money for the charity.

He was recently awarded a British Empire Medal for his charity fundraising efforts.

Bill said: “It was an amazing experience and quite thought provoking.

“The ride was supposed to be 330 miles but I had to ride a bit further as there were no tubes running from where I was staying in London to the centre.

“I had to get up at 4am to get there in time after I had cycled from the Ribble Valley the previous day so all in all it was just over 400 miles.

“I didn’t know anybody on the trip but I got to know some people along the way.

“I’m really glad that I went and it was a good way to mark the centenary.

“I have been fundraising for charity for some time now and I’m running out of people to ask for donations so I will have to think of other ways to raise money.

“This challenge was completely different to what I have done in the past and some of the sites were very touching.”