Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, King Philippe and Prince William at the dedication ceremony, Wellington Barracks, London (Picture: Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC, Crown copyright)

Flanders Fields Memorial Garden opens in presence of Queen Elizabeth and King Philippe

Posted on centenarynews.com on 07 November 2014
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The Flanders Fields Memorial Garden was dedicated in London on November 6th 2014, at a ceremony attended by Queen Elizabeth, and King Philippe of the Belgians.

Wreaths were laid by the two heads-of-state in memory of those killed during the First World War.

The circular garden at Wellington Barracks has been created with 'sacred soil' taken from the 70 battlefields and Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries in Flanders where millions died in action.

It was gathered in 2013 by Belgian and British schoolchildren, several of whom attended the dedication ceremony at the site, near Buckingham Palace.

 

(Photo: Centenary News)

The Flanders Fields Memorial Garden, designed by the Belgian architect, Piet Blanckaert, bears the insignia of all seven Guards Regiments of the British Army.

During the First World War, they were awarded 25 Victoria Crosses for gallantry and by the end, 16,000 soldiers from the Household Division had been killed. They are buried in the 70 cemeteries of Flanders or commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial to the missing in Ypres.

Major General Edward Smyth-Osbourne, the General Officer Commanding the Household Division, said: "The Guards fought in almost every battle of the First World War. This memorial garden stands proud testament to their achievements in what Winston Churchill called ‘the world crisis’, and is testament to the traditions that we all strive to live up to today."

The Flanders Fields Memorial Garden is open daily from 10am-4pm at Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London SW1E 6HQ.

Information & images supplied by the UK Government (Ministry of Defence and Department for Culture, Media & Sport - photo: Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC, Crown copyright)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News