Who we are
Major General R L Kirkland CBE MA - Patron
Lamont Kirkland entered Sandhurst with an Army Scholarship and spent 15 years in the Royal Engineers before transferring to the Infantry. With 9 Parachute Squadron RE he completed tours in the Falkland Islands, Belize and Sierra Leone. With the Green Howards he served in Northern Ireland and commanded the battalion in Bosnia. In staff tours he was Chief of Staff 24 Airmobile Brigade, Operations Team Leader during the Kosovo crisis and as a brigadier, was Director Land Warfare. His international assignments include NATO posts in Brussels, Virginia USA and attending Defence College in Australia. He assumed command of 4th Division in 2008.
Major General Kirkland holds a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies. He was awarded the OBE for service in Bosnia and the CBE for his work on NATO Transformation. He is married to Helen, has two teenage children and rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Air Commodore Simon Richardson MA BSc RAF - Patron
Simon Richardson joined the RAF as a Communication and Electronics Engineer in August 1983. He has commanded Field Communications Squadron on Tactical Communications Wing; the Royal Air Force's Communications Training School; and as a Group Captain in 2008 he was selected to be the Deputy Commander of the Army's 11th Signal Brigade (a unique appointment for a Royal Air Force Officer), concluding this tour with a deployment to Afghanistan.
Simon was promoted to Air Commodore in 2012 and, until recently, served as Air Officer Communications at the Royal Air Force Headquarters at High Wycombe.
Lieutenant General Paul Jacques CBE - In-service Patron
Paul William Jaques was commissioned into the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers on 6th August 1983. He became commander of 101st Logistic Brigade in December 2005, and saw action in that role in Iraq. He went on to be Head of Capability and Expeditionary Logistics in April 2008, Head of Equipment Planning to the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Capability) in July 2011, and Director Land Equipment at Defence Equipment and Support in December 2013.
He was promoted to Lieutenant General on 8th March 2016, and made Chief of Materiel (Land) and Quartermaster-General to the Forces in 2016. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 Birthday Honours.
Revd Vic Van Den Bergh CF - Chaplain
Having RNR and Army chaplaincies alongside my role as Hon. Chaplain to the National Memorial Arboretum on my CV I have a mixed bag of affiliations and experience. The same can be said of my two-wheeled experience which began with a 125cc BSA Bantam and progressed through a variety of machines (including a Honda 250N, a nasty Russian Cossack and a BMW) until, having been taken out by yet another, "Sorry mate, I didn't see you!" driving incident in London I hung up my helmet with the wife promising to hit me should I ever ask for one again! That said, I'm hoping to be bringing a friend's trike (so I'm still safe!).
It is an immense privilege to be in a position to provide a moment of reflection, and thanksgiving, and to pay our respects to those who have given their lives as members of our armed forces and in pursuit of peace. Keep an eye out for me - I'm always happy to be chat and to take a moment away from the mayhem of the day to touch base and offer support.
'Vic the Vicar'
Lesley Barber - Drayton Manor Park Logistics
Motorcycles played a part in my life as a child, with family holidays consisting of Dad riding, My Mum, my sister, me, the dog and the camping kit in the side car. I spent my late teens on the back of my boyfriend's (now husband) Suzuki GT250, until my husband bought his first Harley Davidson and I was not content to sit on the back. I learned to ride 5 years ago and currently ride a Harley Davidson Deluxe (Daisy) and a BMWF650GS (Kitty).
Proud to be an 'Army Brat', I was born in a military hospital. My Grandad and Dad were both Grenadier Guards, my Uncle a Royal Marine and my husband served with the Royal Air Force. Not in uniform myself but working for the MOD, I spent 4 years working with the Royal Air Force Police at RAF Marham.
My family members all saw active service, from Cyprus and Tripoli, to Malaya and The Falklands Crisis. I am so very grateful that each of them came home and I Ride To The Wall every year myself to honour those that didn't.
Dee Curtis, Trustee/Director - Secretary, Merchandising, Online Registrations
I had never been on a bike before 2006 when I met my partner, who bought a Street Bob. After my first spin I was hooked and am now keen to ride pillion at every opportunity. I am a prep school teacher and look forward to lunch time on Friday when weekend riding begins. I do not have a military background but am honoured to be involved in raising funds for the RTTW Organisation.
Ivan Curtis, Trustee/Director - Merchandising, Online Registrations
My first bike was a Honda SS50, I then moved on to a Yamaha RD200. After a 25 year break, to have a family, I decided to buy my dream bike – a Harley Davidson. I bought a Street Bob and within twelve months had changed to a Road King.
My father was in the Army Royal Pioneer Corps for 25 years, based mainly in Bicester. I worked for the MOD for nine years, straight from school. After my first visit to the Wall I was keen to help raise funds and am pleased to be part of the RTTW team.
Martin Dickinson, Trustee/Director - Founder
Having served in the British Army from 1978 - 1983 I have always had an interest in motorbikes, starting with the trusted BSA B40. Today my bikes of choice are Harley Davidsons.
Combining my love for motorcycles and my memories of the British Army, and those I served with and those that served before and after me it is a honour to be involved with Ride To The Wall. The growth of the event has been truly astounding and long may it continue.
Rebecca Dickinson - Treasurer, On-the-day Registration
Although I don't have a military background my Dad served in the British Army. I got involved in Ride To The Wall through my Dad, Martin. He is also responsible for me having a keen interest in motorcycles and scooters.
I am proud to be part of the team that allows us all to remember the names on the Walls of the Armed Forces Memorial.
David Farrand - Route and Marshal Co-ordinator
I started riding bikes back in 1970, doing bike rallies over the weekends. In 1984 I was working as a dispatch rider. I did this for 7 years and loved every minute. I moved from bikes to vans to 18 wheelers. I now cover, on average, 1800 miles a week in my truck and do ride outs and rallies on my Harley at weekends.
As a then HOG Head Road Captain I volunteered to help out with RTTW in 2008. In 2009 & 2010 I was responsible for the Marshalls looking after the 2 main roundabouts on the A38. Following feedback over the years, I was asked to look at a new way to Ride To The Wall for 2011. I suggested, and set up, the new 7 starting points around the country (we're now up to 11!). I have no connection to the armed forces, but as a biker I am very happy and proud to help the NMA and RTTW.
John Foster - Family Liaison Officer
My background comes from the Fire Service, I joined at 18 years of age, did my time & enjoyed the whole experience, think the expression like the Military, friends for life & one big family.
My biking comes from the biggest life change that any parent could possibly imagine, my son Robbie Foster was KIA in Afghan 2007 along side two mates John Thrumble & Aaron Mcclure, they are members of 1 Royal Anglian known as the Vikings our boys were KIA in a Blue on Blue.
To keep myself busy I decided to do a DASS course, passed my test on a Monday & bought a 1300ST Pan on the Tuesday knees knocking i joined the best family on two wheels. I now ride a GS Adventure, I do a lot in Europe so it's the right bike for me.
Now being part of the mighty RTTW committee as the families officer I will endeavour to bring the families of our fallen into the order of events on such an emotionally charged day, I hope I can do them justice ... Proud, pride & Respect ...
Nick Hillerby, Trustee/Director - NMA Co-ordinator
Motorbikes have been part of my life for as long as I can remember, I grew up going everywhere on the back of my dad's old Nortons and Triumphs.
At 16 I got my own wheels in the form of a Puch 50 moped, at 17 I progressed through a couple of Russian 2-strokes before discovering 4-strokes in a BSA A7SS 500. After a couple of big Hondas (CB750, GL1000) and a Yamaha XS1100 I went back to a classic Triumph T120 650 which I ran for 7 years before running a VF750 followed by a new generation Triumph Trident 750.
In 2002 I took a test ride on a Harley Road King which became my first ever "new" bike and one I still have after 8 years and many miles. Late last year the Road King was joined by 98 Buell M2 Cyclone for when I feel like a change of pace.
In 1981 I took the Queen's shilling and joined the Royal Corps of Transport, now known as the Royal logistics Corps in which I served for 6 years. Although Northern Ireland was an ongoing conflict and the Falklands war kicked off I was never directly involved with either and spent my time in the forces based in England until returning to civilian life.
Steve Maguire - Trustee - Compliance, PR and Health & Safety Officer
Steve Maguire, Design Engineer and Health and Safety Consultant in Construction and Mechanical Sectors. I have always had a strong interest in riding and restoring Bikes from an early age. I have a son in law currently serving in the Armed Forces, and thus have a daughter and Grandchildren who are impacted by Army lifestyle.
I feel very priveliged to be able to support RTTW in its aims to ensure that all riders, volunteers and attendees are safeguarded for the event, and like all the Team recognise the sacrifice that is made by those names on The Wall.
Terry Murphy - NMA Co-ordinator
I've been riding for almost 30 years now having only stopped once for 18 months when my first son was born, which happened to unfortunately coincide with a head on collision with a driver on the wrong side of the road. I walked away so all was good.
I have ridden Vespas, Hondas, Kawasakis, Suzukis and finally, when I hit 40, I got the one machine I had always dreamed of, my first Harley Davidson. It's just a black all over FXDF Fatbob and without question the best two wheels I've ever owned.
My military background is purely family orientated. My paternal Grandad was with the Royal Cheshire's and my maternal Grandad with the REME. My own dad was a 23 year served REME RSM. All of whom have left me immensely proud of them and their legacy.
I was introduced to RTTW through my local chapter (Nene Valley) and, obviously, Martin our Chapter Director. I wanted to be involved from the very beginning due to my family background, and am immensely proud today to have invited to be a more integral part of something so inspiring, emotional and respectful.
Colin Young - Drayton Manor Park Logistics Officer
I have been riding motorcycles since the age of 12. Starting out on dirt bikes, progressing through scooters, road bikes and, for the last 10 years, Harley Davidson. Although I have never served, I am very passionate about our armed forces and the fantastic job they do. I got involved with RTTW during its second year and have been involved every year since leading the road marshals from Drayton Manor to the NMA. As I am no longer able to ride a motorcycle, it is fantastic to still be involved and help out the RTTW team in other ways.