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The Western Front Way

17 August 2018


The Western Front Way/ Via Sacra 

A new, continuous long-distance walking path that traces the line of the 1914-18 Western Front from the Vosges in the South to the Belgian coast in the North.

Inspired by the vision of one man, Second Lieutenant Alexander Douglas Gillespie, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who wrote in a letter home of the appalling conditions and suffering being endured in the trenches and that …

 “when peace comes, our government might combine with the French government to make one long avenue between the lines from the Vosges to the sea….I would make a fine broad road in the ‘No-Mans Land’ between the lines, with  paths for pilgrims on foot and plant trees for shade and fruit trees, so that the soil should not altogether be waste.  Then I would like to send every man, woman and child in Western Europe on a pilgrimage along that Via Sacra so that they might think and learn what war means from the silent witnesses on either side.“

Alexander was killed in 1915 at the First Battle of Loos and has no known grave but from his letter the idea of the Western Front Way was born.  It will be a permanent, continuous, marked pathway stretching over 1,000 kms from the English Channel to the Swiss border. A memorial to those from all sides who fought and suffered and never made it home; a way to remember the peace that came after the conflict and connect  current and future generations to the ‘Great War’ and its aftermath in a way that is relevant, meaningful and dynamic. A route for remembrance – a path for peace.

The ambition is to map and mark the entire route by the end of 2020. The first 100 km will be formally open in October 2018

How can I help?

 To donate go to: and scroll down to DONATE TO THE WESTERN FRONT WAY.

Western Front Way £5 a metre campaign

You can sponsor a metre of the pathway for as little as £5 – which will sponsor a metre of the path.

Help us make this new long distance route happen – please donate today.  Registered Charity Number 1174793

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