The Portuguese National Cemetery & Memorial at Richebourg, near Neuve Chapelle (Photo: Centenary News)

French & Portuguese leaders mark Battle of the Lys Centenary

Posted on on 09 April 2018
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President Macron and Portugal's head-of-state, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, have led tributes to Portuguese soldiers who fell fighting for the Allies on the Western Front.

The two leaders laid wreaths during ceremonies at the Portuguese National Cemetery, Richebourg, commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Lys on 9 April 2018.

100 years ago, Portugal's demoralised and depleted expeditionary force bore the brunt of a German attack directed against a vulnerable sector of the Allied line near the River Lys in French Flanders.

It was the start Operation Georgette, a new phase of the Spring Offensive, Germany's last bid for victory in the First World War.

Of some 57,000 Portuguese soldiers sent to France to support the British Army, approximately 2,100 were killed, 5,200 wounded and 7,000 taken prisoner. More than 1,800 are buried at Richebourg.

Read more here in Centenary News about why Portugal entered the Great War, and its role on the Western Front. See also: The defence of Givenchy - holding the German Spring Offensive. 

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team

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