Prince Charles praises ‘brave’ Passchendaele soldiers

ICONINSIDER — Prince Charles has praised the “brave” soldiers that fought at the Battle of Passchendaele.
The 68-year-old royal made a visit to Tyne Cot, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s largest cemetery in the world, on Monday (31.07.17) to give a moving speech in honour of the centenary of the bloody battle which lasted 103 days and left 325,000 allies dead or wounded.
Standing before the Cross of Sacrifice built on the top of a captured German strongbox, he told the congregation: “We remember Passchendaele not only for the rain that fell, the mud that weighed down the living and swallowed the dead, but also for the courage and bravery of the men who fought here.
“After the end of the war almost 12,000 graves of British and Commonwealth soldiers were brought here from surrounding battlefields.
“Today a further 34,000 men, who could not be identified or whose bodies were never found, have their names inscribed on the memorial.
“Thinking of these men, my great grandfather remarked: ‘I have many times asked myself whether there can be more potent advocates of peace upon Earth through the years to come, than this massed multitude of silent witnesses to the desolation of war’.”
Meanwhile, Charles’ son Prince William, 35, gave a speech at the Menin Gate in Ypres on Sunday (30.07.17) where he paid tribute to the 54,000 fallen British and Commonwealth soldiers who have no known graves and who “sacrificed everything for the lives we live today.”
He said: “The battlefields of the Salient came to define the war for many British and Commonwealth soldiers.
“The defence of the city at such great cost meant that it became hallowed ground. Winston Churchill said of Ypres, ‘A more sacred place for the British race does not exist in all the world.’
“Today the Menin Gate records almost 54,000 names of the men who did not return home. The missing with no known grave. Members of our families, our regiments, our nations, all sacrificed everything for the lives we live today.
“At the memorial’s inauguration the British commander Field Marshal Lord Plumer spoke movingly to the assembled families, saying of their lost loved ones: ‘He is not missing, he is here.'”

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