PM visits graves of first and last to fall
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