British and German ambassadors visit Saint-Symphorien cemetery near Mons ahead of Centenary

Posted on on 07 February 2014
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The British and German ambassadors to Belgium have visited Commonwealth War Graves Commission St Symphorien Military Cemetery near the city of Mons.

British Ambassador, Jonathan Brenton and German Ambassador, Eckart Cuntz, held the joint visit on the 5th February 2014.

The visit was described by the British Embassy in Belgium as "part of preparations for the 4th August centenrary commemorations, when the British government will mark the start of the First World War".

                                      The British and German ambassadors lay wreaths

"Symbol of reconciliation"

The British Ambassador, Jonathan Brenton, said:

"It is great to visit Saint-Symphorien with the German Ambassador. This is a real symbol of reconciliation and British-German friendship. We are grateful for the excellent cooperation with the City of Mons and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in our preparations for the historic First World War Centenary events this August".

Saint-Symphorien has an equal number of British and German soldiers, and is also the location where the first and last Commonwealth casualties of the war on the Western front – Private John Parr (1898 – 21 August 1914) and Private George Ellison (1878 - 11 November 1918) are believed to be buried.

Source: UK in Belgium press release

Date of press release publication: 07/02/2014

Images courtesy of Corentin Rousman

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News