Wreath laid on behalf of the people of Wellingborough for those who fought at Passchendaele

Wreaths laid to mark 100 years since Passchendaele
Wreaths laid to mark 100 years since Passchendaele

The sacrifice made by people from Wellingborough during the Battle of Passchendaele has been honoured.

Suraj Samant has just returned from Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passchendaele after laying a wreath on behalf of the mayor and borough of Wellingborough.

Some of the wreaths

Some of the wreaths

He also laid a wreath of remembrance on behalf of the Wellingborough District Hindu Association at Menin Gate on the evening of July 31.

Suraj said: “I think it is extremely important to remember the sacrifices of the hundreds of soldiers who died from our town.

“These people lived in the streets and roads of the town we call home.

“We don’t imagine that those young people who gave up their lives were inspired by contemporary modern inventions like the rail network, motor vehicles and telephony.

The wreath laid on behalf of the Borough of Wellingborough

The wreath laid on behalf of the Borough of Wellingborough

“Rather, we remember how their lives were consumed by the devastations of warfare.

“As they had imagined such devastation, nor should we forget to be steadfast in our memory and remembrance to their service for global peace.

“Principally, our liberty has been established by their most ultimate sacrifices.”

Monday, July 31 marked 100 years since the start of the Third Battle of Ypres.

The offensive, also known as Passchendaele, ended on November 10, 1917, and resulted in more than half a million casualties over a gain of just five miles of the Ypres Salient.

Following his trip, Suraj said: “The commemoration centenary was extremely moving, but for me also an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the entire Commonwealth.

“This was something that the Prince of Wales clearly reflected on in his commemoration remarks, as well as the Duke of Cambridge at the Menin Gate ceremony.

“It was clear that British and Allied forces would have had a different result if it were not for the Commonwealth.

“Ordinarily, I hear the narrative that British ‘Tommies in the trenches’ who rescued Europe from despotism.

“Although, less heard are the ‘Tariqs and Tajinders’, 1.3 million servicemen from the Indian Army who served alongside British forces.

“Notably, thousands of people from across the Commonwealth have made Wellingborough home, but few connect to their heritage and the service of their ancestors in the Great War.”