Second World War veteran given VIP trip on Harley-Davidson bike

George Skipper on the Harley-Davidson.
George Skipper on the Harley-Davidson.

A 94-year-old D-Day veteran was treated to a VIP ride on the back of a Harley-Davidson, as part of Battle of the Somme commemorations.

George Skipper, who is president of the Royal British Legion’s Warkworth and Amble District Branch, described the trip as one of the best days of his life.

George Skipper on the Harley-Davidson.

George Skipper on the Harley-Davidson.

The Second World War hero was driven by a member of the Legion’s Riders’ Branch. The trip took place on Saturday, July 2, and he journeyed from Amble – following a vigil at Amble Town Square held by the Riders – to Warkworth, where a Somme Centenary Exhibition was being held.

Last year, Mr Skipper was presented with the prestigious Légion d’honneur, which recognises the efforts and bravery of those who fought at Normandy and helped liberate France in the Second World War.

A former Amble resident, he now lives in Whitley Bay.

The commemorative exhibition in Warkworth raised £1,117,39 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Warkworth and Amble Branch secretary June Watson, said: “I would like to thank the community for its fantastic support given on the day that Warkworth remembered its soldiers who were killed at the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916, at the Somme Centenary Exhibition.

“With a great team effort by Royal British Legion members, businesses and 450 members of the public who came to the exhibition, we raised £1,117.39 for our Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. The British Legion Riders donated and this went to the Poppy Appeal.

“They made a right fuss of George and he absolutely loved going on the bike. He said it was one of the best days of his life.”

The exhibition featured an original First World War banner, which had been hung across Warkworth’s Castle Street in 1915 when the wounded returned to the village.

There was information about local men who died on the first day of the Somme offensive and stalls with First World War memorabilia, among other things.

The next branch meeting is at Warkworth War Memorial Hall on September 7, at 7pm. It is open to all. Mrs Watson will talk about the Sanderson family of Eastfield Hall, Warkworth.