On Saturday 14 October 2017 there will be a rugby match like no other. Proving the power of sport to enrich lives, the world’s greatest rugby legends will battle it out to raise funds to enable World War Two heroes to make a special trip of remembrance.
Organised by Remembrance Travel, the travel arm of the Royal British Legion, The Legends will help raise much-needed funds to send veterans from the Italian front in WWII back to Monte Cassino one last time. Remembrance Travel was awarded significant Libor funding to take Normandy veterans back to the beaches from the Treasury, but there is no such scheme for those who served in Italy. The veterans will be accompanied by a relative, carer and medical staff.
So far ex England, Wales, South Africa, Wasps and Harlequins’ players have signed up including the magical former Wales Captain Colin Charvis, Harlequin legend Simon Keogh and England Player, Paul Volley. The Legends will play against a team of skilled, amateur players representing the Legionnaires. There will be a further match on the day between the Barbarians City League and the Combined Services. All players are trying to raise funds themselves.
The event takes place at the exceptional ground of the members-only Honourable Artillery Company, (HAC) based in the City of London. Matches will be followed by a gala black tie dinner and entertainment at the HAC including a question and answer session with the Rugby Legends. Players themselves will host tables.
The Rugby Match and Gala Dinner are supported by A E Arma Elektropanc.
Most of the veterans who fought at Monte Cassino are in their 90’s and this is their last chance to return to a battle scene that changed their young lives. They fought on the historic Monte Cassino hilltop on exposed slopes, coming under heavy artillery fire in severe conditions.
Paul Smith, Team Captain, Legionnaires said: “We may be playing against the best in the business but we are determined to beat them. After all we have the honour of the Royal British Legion at stake.”
For tickets to the matches and gala evening please contact Nichola Rowland-Smith, Head of Remembrance Travel - NRowlands@britishlegion.org.uk