First World War centenary: Hertfordshire Regiment memorial to be unveiled in Belgium next Monday at site of most famous action exactly 100 years on
- Credit: Archant
The Hertfordshire Regiment’s First World War heroes are to gain their first memorial outside the UK next week – at the site of their most famous action, exactly a century on.
Military history group Herts at War will unveil the Herts Regiment memorial near the Belgian village of St Julien on Monday, July 31 – the centenary of the 1st Battalion’s attack there on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele.
About 620 Herts men and officers attacked, and within two hours all the officers and 75 per cent of the other ranks had been either killed, wounded or captured.
The memorial dedication follows negotiations with the Belgian government, with Herts at War confirming the new monument bearing Hertfordshire-made plaques in January this year.
Speaking to the Comet at that time, Dan Hill from Herts at War said the group felt honoured to make such a poignant remembrance of our troops.
You may also want to watch:
He said: “We’re very pleased with what we think is the best place to honour the regiment. There’s a balance of the current situation and where the actual battlefield was, and we’re particularly pleased to have satisfied both.
“To tour the field exactly 100 years to the day on from when it happened is very poignant.”
- 1 Multiple cars involved in A1(M) collision
- 2 Letchworth and Baldock Sergeant set to retire after two decades in Herts
- 3 Plans drawn up to reduce places at primary schools due to surplus
- 4 Delivery driver forced to floor in mobile phone robbery
- 5 Devastated wife pays tribute to Stewart Macgregor following e-scooter accident
- 6 Stevenage in UK's top 25 for community spirit
- 7 6 of the best places to hot tub in and around Hertfordshire
- 8 Bowling alley refurb celebrated in Hollywood style
- 9 Dozens die after catching COVID-19 in our hospitals
- 10 Misogyny as a hate crime 'would get us nowhere'
The event will comprise four elements – first a tank unveiling at Pond Farm, then the memorial inauguration service at 11am, and finally a battlefield walk followed by refreshments.
Members of the group will then attend the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres to lay a wreath.
Herts at War have extended an open invitation to those attending the memorial unveiling to come to Pond Farm beforehand to see the unveiling and first operation of a new British Mk IV tank, of the kind used on July 31, 1917.
The tank, owned and operated by military historian Stijn Butaye, will run for the first time across the land around St Julien.
Guests are asked to come to the memorial service from 10.30am for a 10.50am welcome from Herts at War chairman Jon Grant, ahead of the official unveiling at 11am.
The Last Post will then be played by a representative of Ypres’ fire brigade, which nightly plays the Last Post at the Menin Gate.
After the unveiling, attendees will be led in four groups on a battlefield walk around St Julien, hearing the story of the Hertfordshire Regiment’s attack of 100 years ago in detail over six locations.
If you want to join the battlefield walk you must let the group know ahead of time – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more see hertsatwar.co.uk, or find the group on Facebook.