Bikers pay special tribute to Armed Forces

A biker attends the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum
A biker attends the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Thousands of leather-clad bikers have today made a pilgrimage to a war memorial to show their support for the Armed Forces.

A biker lays a wreath during the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire
A biker lays a wreath during the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The riders arrived in their droves throughout this morning for a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

Bikers arriving for the fifth annual Ride to the Wall event
Bikers arriving for the fifth annual Ride to the Wall event Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Called Ride to the Wall, the event included many riders who had messages emblazoned on the back of their leather jackets such as "lest we forget"

Bikers arriving for the fifth annual Ride to the Wall event
Bikers arriving for the fifth annual Ride to the Wall event Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The annual mass motorcycle tribute, which is now in its fifth year, saw riders attending from all corners of the UK and parts of Europe, either as individuals or in groups and chapters from particular organisations.

Evolving  artwork 'Empty Chairs' by Mike Yorke showing soldiers lost in action during the conflict in Afghanistan
Evolving artwork 'Empty Chairs' by Mike Yorke showing soldiers lost in action during the conflict in Afghanistan Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Bikers gathered at one of the eight designated start points around the country to ride to the Arboretum, including Drayton Manor in Staffordshire.

The riders paid tribute to the war dead in a service of remembrance at the walls of the Armed Forces Memorial, which is engraved with the names of more than 16,000 servicemen and women killed on duty or by terrorist action since the end of the Second World War.

Bikers lay wreaths during the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire
Bikers lay wreaths during the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire

Martin Dickinson, founder of Ride to the Wall, said this year's event was a unique coming together of the biking community and members of the public. He said:

2012 sees the 5th year of this unique event, which has not only brought together the motorcycling community, but also a large number of other participants, in remembering the 16000 names that are engraved on the walls of the Armed Forces memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.

This annual ride brings motorcyclists from near & far together to attend a memorial service at the National Memorial Arboretum on the first Saturday in October, in order to remember those who can no longer ride by our side.

The National Memorial Arboretum
The National Memorial Arboretum Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Bikers lay wreaths during the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire
Bikers lay wreaths during the fifth annual Ride to the Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire