My grandfather, Herbert Beckett, died in Ypres during the First World War, leaving behind my grandmother and his children.
On the 16th April 2018, my husband and I travelled to Belgium to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate. After the ceremony we talked to a lovely Dutch couple who wished to know why we were there that particular evening. They had videoed the ceremony which they kindly sent to me.
We then went to see the wreaths which other people had laid and I was shocked to see another one to my grandfather.
I stopped at the first bar on the right coming out of Menin Gate and I saw the back of a lady with long blonde hair. I asked if she had laid the wreath and amazingly she said she had – for her husband’s family. Her husband, John, said Herbert Beckett was his greatgrandfather. It was such a shock to be meeting a second cousin at the Menin Gate in Ypres! He gave me a big hug and we all talked until the early hours.
My husband and I are going back to Ypres for the 100-year remembrance on the 11th November, 2018. The Belgian people are absolutely wonderful. They remember our war dead every day of the year, closing the road through Ypres to sound the Last Post. We salute them all.