World War One: Theresa May paying respects in France and Belgium


Theresa May laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in November 2017Picture copyright
Getty Photographs

Theresa Might will lay a wreath on the graves of the primary and final UK troopers killed in World Struggle One as she travels to France and Belgium to mark the Armistice centenary.

The prime minister shall be joined by French President Emmanuel Macron and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel for the commemorations on Friday.

The visits replicate a shared historical past and shared future, Mrs Might will say.

A personal assembly and dealing lunch with Mr Macron may also happen.

The prime minister’s go to will start in Belgium’s St Symphorien Army Cemetery in Mons, the place she’s going to go to the graves of John Parr, the primary UK soldier to be killed in 1914, and the final, George Ellison.

He was killed on the Western Entrance at 09:30 GMT, earlier than the Armistice got here into impact at 11:00, 100 years in the past this Sunday.

Mrs Might and Mr Michel will attend a reception at which they’ll meet British and Belgian serving members of the armed forces earlier than she travels to France.

She’s going to meet Mr Macron in Albert, a city within the coronary heart of the Somme area which suffered heavy bombardment throughout World Struggle One. The 2 leaders will then maintain their assembly earlier than attending a wreath-laying ceremony on the close by Thiepval Memorial.

It commemorates greater than 70,00zero British and Commonwealth troopers who died there and is an emblem of Anglo-French cooperation.

A wreath combining the poppy and le bleuet (or cornflower) – the 2 nationwide emblems of remembrance for Britain and France – has been made for the event.

‘Always remember sacrifice’

Mrs Might stated the go to could be an opportunity to replicate on the time the international locations spent combating facet by facet in Europe, but additionally to stay up for a “shared future, constructed on peace, prosperity and friendship”.

She stated: “At St Symphorien I’ll have the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of a nation on the graves of each John Parr and George Ellison, the primary and final UK troopers to die through the conflict.

“That their graves lie reverse one another is a becoming and poignant image that brings residence the everlasting bond between them, and each member of the armed forces who gave their lives to guard what we maintain so expensive.

“We keep in mind the heroes who misplaced their lives within the horror of the trenches. Because the solar units on 100 years of remembrance, we’ll always remember their sacrifice.”

The prime minister returns to the UK on Saturday for the Royal British Legion Competition of Remembrance on the Royal Albert Corridor in London.

She’s going to lay a wreath on the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday and attend the nationwide service to mark the centenary of the Armistice at Westminster Abbey.

About 70 world leaders together with US President Donald Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Angela Merkel will participate in a ceremony on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday morning to mark the 100th anniversary of the top of World Struggle One.


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