A RETIRED army deputy commander is taking on a gruelling 460km cycle ride to raise money for the Royal British Legion in memory of his grandfather who served in the First World War.

Peter Fraser-Hopewell, of Colchester Road, Lawford, is taking on the Pedal to Paris ride along with 300 other cyclist.

The four day ride, which starts in London, will end at the Arc de Triomphe where a memorial service will be held.

Mr Fraser-Hopewell was formerly the Deputy Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester and served in the army for 30 years.

His grandfather Gordon Smart and great uncle Hugh Hopewell served in the First World War.

Mr Fraser-Hopewell, 60, said: “On his death we found, in his wallet, a faded and folded signal, which I now have.

“It is dated November 11 1918 written at 6.35am, stating ‘hostilities will cease at 11am today’.

“It is the message he wrote in France, as a battalion signaller, informing them about the end of the First World War.”