More than 800 missing soldiers are remembered on the New Zealand Memorial, Messines (Photo: Centenary News)

NZ's new Prime Minister visits WW1 battlefields in Belgium

Posted on on 10 January 2017
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New Zealand's recently appointed Prime Minister, Bill English, has made an early visit to First World War battle sites in Belgium which will be at the centre of Centenary commemorations in 2017.

The NZ leader spent a day touring CWGC cemeteries and memorials near Ypres on January 11, accompanied by the Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Victoria Wallace.

This year, New Zealand will be remembering its involvement in the Battles of Messines and Passchendaele during the summer and autumn of 1917.

More than 800 New Zealanders who have no known grave are commemorated on the New Zealand Memorial at Messines Ridge British Cemetery.

Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth Cemetery in the world, is the last resting place of 520 New Zealand soldiers. Almost 1,200 New Zealanders are among 35,000 troops remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing.

Bill English, who's on a tour of European capitals, took over as New Zealand Prime Minister in December 2016, following the resignation of John Key.

Full details of New Zealand's First World War Centenary programme can be found at WW100 New Zealand.

Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission/NZ History

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team