From April 2015 Phil Brotherton will spend roughly 3 months travelling across 12 countries to raise money for the Royal British Legion and the German Volksbund.

Phil will begin his incredible journey from Galipolli, Turkey, and follow the First World War front line over the mountains of Greece & Macedonia, through Serbia, over the mountains of Slovenia & Italy, and then onto the home stretch of France & Belgium.

He will cycle, walk and climb the 3500 miles whilst leaving a trail of 2015 Poppies as a sign of remembrance to all who died from both sides in the Great War.

Trail of Poppies - graves

This isn’t an ordinary bicycle tour though, it will be about 3500 miles of sweat, fear, pain (not much I hope) and emotions. There’ll be sand, sun & snow, plus probably quite a bit of rain. Beaches, forested hills, flat plains & rugged mountains. Wherever the trenches ran, I’ll be following.

Trail of Poppies - Dolomites
Phil Brotherton - Trail of Poppies

My name is Phil Brotherton.

I’m a 37 year old Yorkshireman, who is married with one cute furry dog.

About 11 years ago I suffered a serious head injury, which brought some complications and difficulties my way and left me unable to work for some time.
Although I’m happy to say everything is fine now, I have found it impossible to get paid work.

On a positive note, this has given me the time to plan & carry out this expedition.
As a qualified mountain leader who loves spending time in the hills & mountains, I think that I have both the experience & the motivation to carry out this expedition & I’m looking forward to the challenge.

I’m also a Civilian Instructor with the Air Cadets & I maintain the dry stone walls & fields for a local Riding for the Disabled group.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to my wonderful wife & dog for allowing me to travel across Europe for three months, or so.

Eleven of the twelve countries along the journey were involved in the Great War.

It is Phil’s intention to follow the battlefields right across Europe as a form of remembrance to the dead from both sides of the conflict.

In the countries involved there are still a great amount of remains left over from the Great War, most of these are in the lesser known areas. There’s a certain irony that in the better known areas of the conflict, a lot of the remains have disappeared, whilst in the lesser known areas, whole trench systems exist in a remarkably good state of preservation.

As well as following the route of the battlefields as closely as possible, Phil will also be carrying 2015 poppies from the Royal British Legion with him. Phil will be leaving these along the route as mark of respect to the dead. The journey will be documented, photographed and added to this website in due course.

Phil Brotherton - Trail of Poppies

I am hoping to be able to raise some funds for both the Royal British Legion & the German Volksbund.

If you wish to make a contribution please visit my donations page.

If you live outside of the UK or Germany but still wish to donate, then I would appreciate it if you made a donation to a veterans or war grave charity in your own country, or failing that, please visit a memorial to the dead.

Thank you very much.

- Phil Brotherton