Many villages have poignant memorials to thousands of young soldiers who gave their lives in the First World War.
But a very special few communities were able to welcome back safe all their men who survived the horrors of battle.
Known as ‘Thankful Villages’, there are 51 across the country. But only one - Knowlton near Canterbury - has the title of ‘The Bravest Village in the United Kingdom’.
It was so-named after a competition organised by the Weekly Dispatch in which it was defined as the community where the largest percentage of its men volunteered to serve and all survived.
Out of a population of just 39, 12 men, who mostly worked on the Knowlton estate, enlisted and went off to war in 1914 war, thankfully to all return home.
The prize, awarded by the then Attorney General Lord Birkenhead and erected in 1919, was a 17ft granite cross with carved figures of a soldier, a nurse, a casualty, and the word victory at the top of the column and a roll of honour on the plinth.
The inscription on the stone cross reads : "One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.
"This cross was erected in honour of those twelve men of Knowlton who, out of a total population of 39, enlisted prior to March 1915 and by their patriotic action won the Weekly Dispatch “Bravest Village” Competition."
Sited near the entrance to Knowlton Court on the Sandwich Road, it was visited today by motorcyclists Medwyn Parry and Dougie Bancroft of Aberystwyth & District Motorcycle Action Group.
They are both touring all 51 Thankful Villages around the country to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
They were met by by Andrew Fox-Pitt, who manages the Knowlton estate and looks after the monument as well as members of the Canterbury Royal British Legion and air cadets from the 312 City of Canterbury Squadron.
Mr Fox-Pitt’s grandfather and great grandfather, Maj F E Speed and Capt E J L Speed are both named on the cross and he himself served for 12 years in the Life Guards.
He received a slate plaque from the motorcyclists in recognition of their visit, which will be mounted on the cross.
"We are proud to support the riders because Knowlton is unique and has a very special place in wartime history" - Gerry Ferrett
Mr Parry said: “We are visiting all the Thankful Villages around the country and want to highlight their special status ready for the centenary commemmorations in 2014.
"Knowlton is special because 12 souls went away to fight in the Great War and 12 returned, incredibly out of a total population of 39.
“We have received an amazing welcome wherever we have been. We have been awash with support and people have put out bunting and applauded as we ride into villages.
“We have the support of the Royal British Legion, who have been doing guards of honour for us. It is an incredibly humbling experience.
"Our target is to raise £51,000 for the Legion - that’s £1,000 for every village. We are not asking anything from those villages we are visiting, although they are having none of it and pulling out all the stops.”
President of the Canterbury branch of the Royal British Legion, Gerry Ferrett said: “We are proud to support the riders because Knowlton is unique and has a very special place in wartime history. They are doing an incredible thing for the Legion.”
The two riders, supported by a group of other motorcyclists, left Knowlton for London where they are being welcomed at the Imperial War Museum later today.
They are also due to visit Horse Guards Parade to highlight their charity ride.
To donate visit the Thankful Villages website.
Video: the riders visit Knowlton on UK tour