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


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

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

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

A non-public assembly and dealing lunch with Mr Macron can even happen.

The prime minister’s go to will start in Belgium’s St Symphorien Navy Cemetery in Mons, the place she is 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 are going to 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 Warfare 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 70,000 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 mentioned the go to can be an opportunity to mirror on the time the nations spent preventing aspect by aspect in Europe, but in addition to stay up for a “shared future, constructed on peace, prosperity and friendship”.

She mentioned: “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 throughout the conflict.

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

“We bear 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 tip of World Warfare One.



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