23 April 2018

HRH Princess Anne and Sir Tim Laurence attend CWGC cemetery to mark centenary of the Zeebrugge Raid

HRH The Princess Royal and Sir Tim Laurence, Vice Chairman of the CWGC, visited the Commission’s plot at Zeebrugge Churchyard on Saturday, as part of a visit to Belgium to mark the centenary of the Zeebrugge Raid.

Princess Anne and Sir Tim were joined at the cemetery by the Commission’s Director General Victoria Wallace, CWGC Director External Relations in Western Europe Area Liz Sweet, and British Ambassador to Belgium Alison Rose.

One of the most celebrated episodes of the First World War at sea, the operation was intended to block the access of German shipping and submarines in and out of the port and to inflict as much damage as possible to the German submarines, torpedo boats and ships which were based at the inland docks in Bruges.

More than 200 sailors and marines were killed and over 300 wounded during the raid. In Belgium the dead are commemorated by the CWGC at Zeebrugge Churchyard and Memorial, Blankenberge Town Cemetery and Oostende New Communal Cemetery.

There are 30 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Zeebrugge Churchyard. Within the churchyard is the Zeebrugge Memorial, which commemorates three officers and one mechanic of the Royal Navy who died on the mole at Zeebrugge and have no known grave.

Princess Anne and Sir Tim attended a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary earlier in the day, during which Her Royal Highness paid  tribute to the bravery of the men who fought.

Read more about the Zeebrugge Raid and its casualties

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