PM vis­its graves of first and last to fall

Daily Record - - NEWS -

BY ANDY LINES THERESA May vis­ited the bat­tle­fields of Bel­gium and France yes­ter­day to pay her re­spects to those who gave their lives dur­ing the Great War from 1914 to 1918. She started her tour at St Sym­phorien Mil­i­tary Ceme­tery in Mons, where she laid wreaths at the graves of the first and last Bri­tish sol­diers to be killed in the con­flict. Pri­vate John Parr, of the 4th Batal­lion Mid­dle­sex Reg­i­ment, lost his life on Au­gust 21, 1914. Pri­vate George El­li­son, of the 5th Royal Ir­ish Lancers, died on Novem­ber 11, 1918, at 9.30am. The Ar­mistice came into ef­fect at 11am. In a note left at Pri­vate Parr’s rest­ing place, the Prime Min­is­ter quoted a line from The Sol­dier, a poem by Rupert Brooke. It reads: “There is in that rich earth a richer dust con­cealed.” At Pri­vate El­li­son’s grave, May wrote: “They were staunch to the end against odds un­counted… We will re­mem­ber them.” The quote is from Lau­rence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen. May will at­tend cer­e­monies in Lon­don to­mor­row, when there will be an out­pour­ing of grat­i­tude in the UK for the 887,858 Bri­tish troops killed. Events of­fi­cially start at 6am as 1000 pipers across the coun­try will play the tra­di­tional Scot­tish lament Bat­tle’s O’er. At 11am the na­tion will fall silent for two min­utes in mem­ory of the dead and at 12.30pm church bells will ring, rep­re­sent­ing the sense of re­lief when the war fi­nally ended. Last Post will be sounded by more than 1000 bu­glers be­fore Bea­cons of Light are lit from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

SOM­BRE May in Mons yes­ter­day

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