Bikers gather at Leicester Forest East before ride to Alrewas memorial and Armed Forces service
Hundreds of bikers gathered at a motorway service station before making a pilgrimage to a war memorial to show their support for the Armed Forces.
The riders made their way from Leicester Forest East – with thousands of others from across the country – to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, on Saturday for a service.
Many of those taking part in Ride to the Wall had messages such as "lest we forget" emblazoned on their leathers.
The annual mass motorcycle tribute, 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.
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Retired Leicestershire Police chief inspector Mick Grant, 58, of Melton, a member of the Rutland Chapter of the Harley Owners' Group, said: "It's about paying respects to those who have given their lives for their country.
"Many of our members are ex-servicemen who have lost comrades or, like myself, have sons who have seen service in Afghanistan.
"I've completed the ride every year since it started. On the first one there were four or five. It's now a huge event with thousands of bikers attending."
Mick Robinson, 54, of Fleckney, a retired police officer who spent 13 years as a sergeant in the Royal Corps of Transport, said: "We're here to show support for former comrades – people who lay down their lives for the country – to show that they're not forgotten."
Mark Little, 50, of Fleckney, formerly with the Royal Army Medical Corps and now a nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary's accident and emergency department, said: "Today is all about recognising and remembering the sacrifices made by many people."
Riders pay £10 to register for the event. This goes to pay for the upkeep 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 1945.
Jim Hill, 51, of Oakham, who spent 23 years with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said: "It's about respect. I lost a lot of good friends during my time in the Army. Their names are on the wall."
Wife Steph said: "The camaraderie among the bikers is the same as that enjoyed in the military."
Roger Mills, 60, of Kibworth Beauchamp, said: "It's to show respect and remember those who have gone and those still serving."
Ex-RAF sergeant Kevin Kerry, 51, of Leicester, said: "Everyone here has one thing in common, the camaraderie you enjoy in the military."