Impression of 'Light Front 14' (courtesy of Gone West/Province of West Flanders)

Update on 'Light Front'- tonight's torchlight Western Front commemoration in Belgium

Posted on on 17 October 2014
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More details have been released of 'Light Front' - the torchlight remembrance event taking place in Belgium tonight (October 17th 2014), along the line where the opposing armies fought a century ago.

8,400 torchbearers are due to illuminate the fields of West Flanders from 7pm, commemorating all those who fell here in the First World War. 

The human chain will stretch 84 kilometres (more than 50 miles) from Nieuwpoort on Belgium's North Sea Coast to the Memorial to the Missing at Ploegsteert, near the French border.

Torchbearers will stand every 10 metres along a route marking the Western Front as it stood in 1914, on the eve of the First Battle of Ypres.

Several major landmarks will display projections of the names of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians who died in Belgium during the Great War.

In October 1914, the westernmost part of Flanders was the last area of Belgium to remain unoccupied after the fall of Antwerp. 

The flooding of the coastal plains on the orders of King Albert I during the Battle of Ypres closed the remaining gap in the front, denying a German breakthrough.

Tonight, the first 'Light Front' beacon will be lit by young people from the countries involved in the First World War.

Candles will be placed in the rotunda of the Ploegsteert Memorial, at a ceremony attended by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

The names of 600,000 people who died on Belgian soil during the First World War will also be projected onto the Albert I Monument in Nieuwpoort, the Yser Tower in Diksmuide and the Belfry in Ypres.

Light Front '14 takes place from 7-8.30pm tonight (October 17th 2014).  The event has been organised as part of Gone West, the artistic commemoration of the Great War in the Province of West Flanders. More details can be found here.

Information & images supplied by Province of West Flanders/Gone West/Visit Flanders

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News