Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover played a key role in celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, hosting The Ride of the Lions rugby charity cyclists as they retraced the Duke of Wellington’s Route of Dispatch from the battlefield to London, last Friday and Saturday (19/20 June).
The Ride of the Lions Waterloo 200 recreated the famous journey alongside a number of wounded veterans who are beneficiaries of the Walking with the Wounded service charity, one of whom completed the journey in a three-wheeled cycle propelled by his arms.
The fund-raisers cycled 120 miles from Waterloo to Dunkirk, and took a ferry to Dover, where they were greeted by a trumpet fanfare from the students of the school. Duke of York’s Military School students and staff hosted a barbecue with more than 100 guests and riders spent the night in one of the school’s boarding houses before cycling the 80 miles into London.
The school’s rugby first team had the chance to meet rugby internationals Peter Winterbottom, Roger Uttley, Roger Baird and Steve Bainbridge and other guests included TV presenter Jodie Kidd, who also took part in the ride.
Chris Russell, Executive Principal of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, said: “It was particularly poignant to welcome some of the international rugby stars who played alongside Maurice Colclough, a celebrated alumni of the school who died of a brain tumour in 2006 and whose name is commemorated in our new school sports hall, opened by Bill Beaumont last December.”
Jodie Kidd with Year 7 boys from Trenchard House
The Duke of York’s Royal Military School was also represented at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and buglers and corps of drums from the school performed at the Waterloo Dispatch at Canterbury Cathedral, attended by the Duke of Kent, who is a patron of the school, and the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, The Viscount De L’Isle.
The Duke of York’s Royal Military School was established 210 years ago by the then Duke of York to care for the orphans of soldiers and moved, in 1908, to its present 150 acre site in the Kent countryside. As a boarding school, it offers a high quality continuity of education and pastoral care and is popular with parents serving in the Armed Forces. Since becoming an academy in 2010 and opening its doors to all students, the school has welcomed an increasing number of students from across Kent and Sussex in all year groups.
Successful old Dukies of the School include: James Jones, former Bishop of Liverpool; Simon Daglish founder of the Walking with the Wounded Charity and Deputy Managing Director, Commercial, of ITV; and the late Maurice Colclough, England International Rugby Union player.