Sir Tim Laurence, Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, lays a wreath during New Zealand's service at Messines British Cemetery (Photo © CWGC)

Messines Centenary - New Zealand remembers

Posted on on 08 June 2017
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New Zealanders gathered for ceremonies in Belgium honouring the service and sacrifice of their soldiers who fought at the Battle of Messines in 1917.

The Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, attended a national commemorative service at Messines British Cemetery on June 7.

She laid a wreath at the memorial remembering more than 800 soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who died in or near Messines and have no known grave.

The day closed with a sunset ceremony at the New Zealand Battlefield Memorial.

It was on the Western Front that New Zealand made its most significant contribution to the First World War, the New Zealand Defence Force notes, and also where the country suffered the greatest loss of life.

Seven hundred New Zealanders were killed at Messines, and 3,000 others wounded.

Dame Patsy Reddy also attended the joint UK/Ireland service at the Island of Ireland Peace Park, commemorating the Battle of Messines.

Also in Centenary News:

100 Years Ago: Battle of Messines

Images courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)

Source: WW100 New Zealand/New Zealand Defence Force

Posted by: CN Editorial Team