Blues players and coaches recently took advantage of a week off to make a special trip to France and Belgium to pay their respects to those who sacrificed their lives to secure and protect our freedom as well as remembering former Bedford players who died during World War One.
On Tuesday 31st October, the squad travelled across the English Channel to visit Dunkirk where over 300,000 allied soldiers were evacuated from the beaches and harbour during World War Two. The operation - codenamed Dynamo - was the largest military evacuation of its kind and took place between 26th May and 4th June 1940.
Following the visit to Dunkirk, the Blues headed off to Ypres in Belgium to visit the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing which is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown.

That night, the squad took part in a presentation at the memorial where they laid a wreath in memory of all who fell, including Bedford players Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Mobbs and Captain Basil Maclear.
“It was very moving. We formed a guard of honour, and to be part of that ceremony was very special,” said Blues fly half Will Hooley.

“Whether you know a lot about the history or not, you know about the sacrifices those people made for our sake. It was very deep, and put a lot into perspective.

“I’ve known the name Edgar Mobbs for a while having played at Northampton. He was a captain of the club, and is not only a big and historic figure in Northampton and Bedford rugby, but England rugby too.”

On Wednesday, the team made the trip to Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world and the resting place of more than 11,900 servicemen of the British Empire from the First World War.
Speaking about the trip, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "I think that all of the lads will agree that this was a very humbling experience and to be able to take part in the Remembrance Ceremony at the Menin Gate was a great honour. While the names Edgar Mobbs and Basil Maclear will be familiar ones, there were many rugby players who lost their lives during the conflicts and this was a chance for us, as a squad and a club, to reflect and remember the ultimate sacrifice that these individuals made."

Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road