Memorial to the defenders of Fort de Loncin, Li├Ęge

August 3rd 2014: Belgian King today honours soldiers killed in action as war started in 1914

Posted on on 03 August 2014
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King Philippe of Belgium pays tribute today to the first Belgian soldier killed in the Great War on a day which also sees commemorations for troops buried in the ruins of a Liège fortress.

He will visit the village of Thimister where Lancer Antoine Fonck died when his reconnaissance patrol came under fire as the German invasion began on August 4th 1914.

King Phillipe will take part in a ceremony at the memorial to the 21-year-old cavalryman in Thimister (below), close to the border with Germany.

(Photo courtesy of Jon Nuxoll)

King Philippe then goes to Liège to honour the soldiers killed in the bombardment of Fort de Loncin, part of a ring of twelve fortresses defending the city.

Around 350 soldiers died at the garrison on August 15th 1914 when a German shell blew through the roof of a powder magazine and exploded.

Around 200 of those men remain where they fell, buried beneath tonnes of concrete.

On the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Fort de Loncin will be bestowed with the honour of National Necropolis.

Tomorrow (4th August 2014), 50 heads-of-state and government from around the world will join King Philippe in Liège for commemorations marking the Centenary. 

Source: Belgian Monarchy press release

Images courtesy of Jon Nuxoll; Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News