HIS ROYAL HIGH NOSE

BAT­TLE: PASS­CHEN­DAELE HOR­RORS ARE COM­MEM­O­RATED

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE - PIC­TURE: TIM ROOKE/PA.

The Duke of Cam­bridge greets Wil­lie Api­ata VC with a Hongi – a tra­di­tional Maori greet­ing – as they at­tend the New Zealand na­tional com­mem­o­ra­tion for the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele at Tyne Cot Ceme­tery, Bel­gium. The Duke rep­re­sented the Queen at the event.

THE DUKE of Cam­bridge has told de­scen­dants of New Zealand sol­diers who fought and died at the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele that although we may never truly un­der­stand the con­di­tions they en­dured, “we can re­mem­ber”.

Speak­ing at a cen­te­nary ser­vice com­mem­o­rat­ing the ac­tions, val­our and com­mit­ment of the Ki­wis, Wil­liam said news­reels may have de­scribed them as or­di­nary men and women but “there was noth­ing or­di­nary about their ser­vice or their sac­ri­fice”.

The Duke, who rep­re­sented the Queen at the event in Bel­gium, was joined by the county’s Princess Astrid and de­liv­ered his speech at Tyne Cot ceme­tery, near the town of Ypres in Flan­ders, sur­rounded by thou­sands of head­stones of Al­lied ser­vice­men who died in the Great War.

Oc­to­ber 12 1917 has be­come known as the dark­est day of the war for the New Zealand Di­vi­sion, which suf­fered heavy loses when they were or­dered to take an area called Belle­vue Spur but were bogged down in shell holes un­der en­emy fire.

On that day, more than 840 Ki­wis were killed fight­ing in a for­eign land far from home – part of a huge toll of dead and in­jured both sides suf­fered that sum­mer.

The Duke said: “All too of­ten the news­reels speak of ‘or­di­nary’ men and women.

“There was noth­ing or­di­nary about their ser­vice or their sac­ri­fice.

“As we have heard, Oc­to­ber 12th 1917 was the ‘dark­est day’ in the mil­i­tary his­tory of a proud and com­mit­ted peo­ple.

“For New Zealan­ders, the loss of more than 840 men in just a few hours is seared into the na­tional con­scious­ness.”

Oc­to­ber 12th 1917 was the ‘dark­est day’ of a proud peo­ple. The Duke of Cam­bridge.

PIC­TURES: GARETH FULLER/PA WIRE.

HON­OUR: The Duke of Cam­bridge speaks at Tyne Cot Ceme­tery, Bel­gium; New Zealand mil­i­tary per­son­nel per­form a tra­di­tional Maori greet­ing; a com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque was un­veiled at the event.

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