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Arras Memorial

Twin Town Mayors Unveil Information Panels to War Dead

02 December 2013

The mayors of twinned towns, Ipswich and Arras, Councillor Hamil Clarke and M. Frédéric Leturque, will unveil information panels at the Arras Memorial in France on 3 December. These aim to help new generations understand the sacrifices made by servicemen and women during the First World War.

The panels at Arras are part of a global initiative by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to provide more information to the public during the Centenary of the First World War. Through a combination of traditional interpretive techniques and the latest smartphone technology, the panels reveal the personal stories of some of those buried or commemorated at the location - people like Second Lieutenant Walter Tull, who was a professional footballer and the first person of Afro-Caribbean heritage to become a commissioned officer in the British Army, and fighter ace Major Edward Corringham "Mick" Mannock VC.

Click here to access the story of Second Lieutenant Walter Tull

Click here to access the story of Major Edward Corringham "Mick" Mannock VC

The Worshipful Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Hamil Clarke, said: "It is important for present and future generations to understand the tremendous heroism of all those who fought in the Arras sector. The death toll was truly horrific  - and in modern eyes scarcely credible. But we will never forget their sacrifice. That is why it gives me great pleasure to stand alongside my friends from Arras and I thank them for their invitation. I would also like to thank the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for their continuing work to tend graves and highlight a generation's sacrifice. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Great War it is even more vital that we all understand what went on and teach the lessons of history to our children."

Mr Ian Hussein, the CWGC's Director in France, said:  "As we approach the Centenary of the Great War the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's plans to engage new generations in the importance of those events, are taking shape.

"These panels are part of that process - a global initiative that will help visitors gain an understanding of why these cemeteries and memorials exist, why it is important to visit them and maintain them, and who these men and women were.

"The stories of those we commemorate will help bring home to all of us the great sacrifice made by the servicemen and women who went away to fight in two world wars. They are a powerful way of combining traditional forms of remembrance, with new technology, to ensure that we never forget - a commemoration that will capture the imagination of all generations and communities and one that allows them to pay respect, to visit, to be moved and to learn."

Click here to read the full Media Release