Wreath laid in France on behalf of the mayor and people of Wellingborough
The sacrifice of county soldiers has been remembered with the laying of a wreath to commemorate the centenary of the start of the Battle of Amiens.
Suraj Samant attended the Battle of Amiens centenary commemorations at Amiens Cathedral in Amiens, France, in the presence of HRH The Duke of Cambridge on August 8.
He laid a wreath on behalf of the mayor and borough of Wellingborough in the Chapel of the Allies.
Speaking afterwards, Suraj said: “It was a very moving service that exemplified the sacrifice of Commonwealth forces as we move in to the last 100 days of the centenary commemoration period, known as the Hundred Days Offensive.
“The previous day, I also visited the Gorre British and Indian War Cemetery, Béthune, where I paid respect and laid a wreath to Private Frank Bailey of School Lane, Burton Latimer (who is listed on the Burton Latimer Roll of Honour) killed in action on 15th October 1915 aged 26.
“He was buried with hundreds of his compatriots from the Army of India.
“This was the meeting place of the history of those who left their towns and villages from the Northamptonshire Regiment, and those who left their villages in the Republic of India and served together giving the greatest sacrifice so that we may, today, live in freedom.
“Today, descendants of these brave men live together in our great county of Northamptonshire and I believe we should all be proud of their service and sense of duty.”
On August 8, 1918, the Allied armies advanced over seven miles on the first day of the Battle of Amiens, which was one of the greatest advances of the war.
The battle demonstrated how the Allies had learned lessons from previous campaigns and combined the use of infantry, artillery, tanks and aircraft to devastating effect.
Amiens also marked the start of the Hundred Days Offensive that won the war sooner than had previously been thought possible.
After the ceremony, His Royal Highness and the Prime Minister along with representatives from France, Germany, Australia, Canada, the US and Ireland laid flowers in the Chapel of the Allies in the cathedral.
Flags that were presented to the Bishop of Amiens by the Allied nations after the battle have remained in the chapel ever since.