Remembrance Day unveiling for new memorial in Georgia
08 November 2014
Sixty-eight Commonwealth casualties who died in Georgia during
the First World War are to be honoured on Remembrance Day, with the
unveiling of a memorial that has been reinstated at their original
The men commemorated by the new memorial were part of a British
force sent to Georgia in 1918. At the end of the war it was not
possible to mark or commemorate the war dead in the country -
instead their names were engraved on a memorial at Haidar Pasha
Cemetery in neighbouring Turkey.
The new memorial will be unveiled by the British Ambassador to
Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall, General Sir Garry Johnson, KCB, OBE,MC
and John Nicholls, the CWGC's Operations Manager for
The British Ambassador said: "This memorial is a fitting tribute
to those brave men of the Commonwealth who paid the ultimate
sacrifice and we thank the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and
the council of the Municipality of Batumi for their help in making
it a reality. To dedicate this memorial on Remembrance Sunday
is very special, but to dedicate it on Remembrance Sunday in this
year of commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of
World War 1 is the ultimate honour.
The UK enjoys an extremely strong relationship with Georgia and
the presence of our Georgian colleagues, friends and local
authorities is a testament to that. Georgian soldiers have stood
shoulder to shoulder with British service personnel in Iraq &
Afghanistan and this demonstrates the uniquely special bond which
exists between all of those who serve in the armed
The memorial at Batumi British Military Cemetery, has been
designed and built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
- the organisation responsible for the commemoration in perpetuity
of all Commonwealth war dead of the two world wars.
John Nicholls, the CWGC's Operations Manager for Georgia said:
"Almost a century after they died, it is fitting that we are
gathered here on Remembrance Day to dedicate this new memorial and
to remember these men.
"The construction of the memorial has involved staff from across
the CWGC and was completed in time for today's remembrance service.
It has only been possible thanks to the support of many individuals
and organisations - including the Georgian government and British
Embassy - and on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission I
would like to thank them all for helping us to realise this
important remembrance project."
Designed by CWGC Architect, Barry Edwards MBE, the memorial
takes the form of a rectangular screen wall, with two wings on each
side that surround a rectangular paved area. The design is intended
to "welcome" visitors to inspect and read the names inscribed on
the Vratza stone panels.
Click here for the
full media release.