11 August 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May visits new CWGC information centre

UK Prime Minister Theresa May visited the CWGC Information Centre in Ieper last week, where she searched for a family friend and found where he is commemorated.

 

Mrs May was greeted by the Commission’s Vice Chairman Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and CWGC Director General Victoria Wallace.

During the visit, she was introduced to CWGC staff at the centre, just a stone’s throw from the CWGC (Menin Gate) Memorial, and shown the resources available to help visitors research CWGC cemeteries and the location of graves via the Commission’s casualty database and archive documents.

Jean-Baptiste Hintjens, Information Centre Advisor, said: “The Prime Minister asked if I could show her a friend of her grandfather who fell during the war and is named on the Menin Gate. I showed her how to do the search and explained where Private Hubert Brasier Grant is listed on the gate.

“She then asked if I could show her the panel on the Menin Gate where Private Grant is named. As we walked to the Gate, I told the Prime Minster about the Gate and its history. We then searched for Private Grant’s name together on the panel. She was really happy to see his name on the Gate.”

 

The Prime Minister was in Belgium for commemorations hosted by the CWGC and UK Government marking the Centenary of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres.

She attended the traditional Last Post ceremony at the CWGC Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, alongside TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and TM the King and Queen of the Belgians and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, on 30 July.

The next day, she attended a special commemorative service at the CWGC’s Tyne Cot Cemetery. HRH the Prince of Wales together with TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and TM the King and Queen of the Belgians also attended, alongside more than 4,000 descendants of the men who fought and those with a connection to the battle.

During her time in Belgium, Mrs May also visited the CWGC’s New Irish Farm Cemetery, where she was greeted by the Commission’s Liz Sweet and introduced to members of staff. She also visited the grave of Private John Thomas Jones, a soldier from her Maidenhead constituency, buried at the cemetery.

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