Hello, I'm a long time lurker on here & I just thought I'd register so that I can tell you about a little solo expedition that I'm doing this year to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
If I've put this in the wrong section, then I apologise in advance.

I've been planning it for about 2 years now & I've gathered quite a bit of info off this forum, so thanks for that, but I've come across a little problem that could scupper my plans, so I just thought I'd get it on here & see if there's anybody willing to help a bit...

Anyway, I will be starting my little journey at a small place called Kumkale which is on the Asian side of the Dardanelles Straits in Turkey. For those that don't know, this is the site of a small (ish) French Landing as part of the Gallipoli Campaign. I aim to be here at exactly 100 years since it happened.

From this point, my aim is to literally follow the trenches & battle fields right across Europe ending at the English Channel near Nieuwpoort in Belgium. (Plus a bit more to get home to Yorkshire.)
It's approximately 3500 miles in total, it will take me between 3-4 months (I hope) & I will be travelling through 13 countries.
About 1/2 of my route will be off road & I will be travelling on mountain bike, walking (pushing my bike) & climbing (crawling) over the Italian Dolomites, Julian Alps & anywhere that bikes arent allowed, while carrying my bike & everything else on my back.

Along my route I will be leaving 2015 poppies as a mark of respect to the dead from both sides.
1000 of these poppies have been signed by kids from quite a few of the countries that were involved in the war, while the rest of the poppies... Well this is my problem.
I was hoping to be able to find 1000 people who would be willing to sponsor a poppy which would be left in their name as a token of their remembrance. Some of the money raised from this would be helping to feed & equip me on my long journey, whilst the rest would be donated to the two charities that I'd like to raise a bit of money for. (Royal British Legion & the German Volksbund.)
Unfortunately, even after trying to market it to everybody & their dog, so far I've managed to find the grand total of 17 people who'd like to sponsor a poppy.

I'm starting to get a bit desperate now, as I'm doing it whatever, but I don't want to starve. So I've been contacting any other charities that has links to WW1, in the hope that one of them will be interested & maybe try to publicise it a bit. (The RBL have refused to publicise it until a couple of weeks before I leave. Too late!)

I think that the main problem is that the people who might have sponsored a poppy have already bought one from the Poppies in the Moat at the tower of London. I can't compete with that as there won't be a ceramic poppy that they can leave to gather dust on their window sill. Instead, I will be taking a photo of each poppy in situ & when I come back (Unless I've been eaten by bears, wolves or rabid dogs) I will be personally sending each person a good quality digital copy of the photo of their poppy, to do as they wish with it.

I just don't know what else to do? I'm just an ordinary Yorkshireman, I'm not famous & I don't have any contacts in high places, although I wish I did, because I don't think I'd have this problem.

So if anybody would like to sponsor a poppy!!! But more important than that, could I please ask you to tell other people & maybe share it on social media.

I should add that as far as I'm aware nobody has ever done this journey before & it's the best way that I can think of to commemorate the Centenary of the Great War.

Thank you.


Trail of Poppies - Expedition by Phil Brotherton