30th Mar, 2020

Malvern councillor to visit French town for Armistice Day commemorations

Craig Gibbons 26th Oct, 2018

TOWN councillor Ian Hopwood and his wife Janet will represent Malvern in the French town of Landrecies next month as part of the First World War commemorations.

Their aim on November 11 is to help celebrate the special alliance between the two towns whilst commemorating all those who were injured or lost their lives in the fight for freedom in 1914 and 1918.

Landrecies was captured by the Germans on August 25, 1914 and remained in their hands until a second battle in October 1918 when British forces, including a large contingent of the Royal Worcestershire Regiment, helped liberate the town.

After the end of the war, many French towns were devastated and turned to the mayors of towns in England for help.

The Mayor of Worcester chaired a committee to organise aid to be sent to towns in France and Belgium and Malvern ‘adopted’ Landrecies, providing funds and helping with restoration.

This assistance helped forge a lasting friendship between the two towns.

In November 1998, 88 years after the end of the First World War, the then-Mayor of Malvern, Coun Graham Myatt, travelled to Landrecies and was present for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on the ‘Malvern Gate’, an archway built at the junction of roads where the hand-to-hand battle took place on the night of August 25, 1914.

Now, Malvern Town Council has again been invited by the Mayor of Landrecies to join them in commemorations to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

This time there will be an official commemorative ceremony, a visit to the town’s war cemetery, the unveiling of a plaque at the primary school in the name of a member of the resistance and an exhibition on the Great War followed by a reception meal.

Coun Hopwood said: “I am very honoured to be representing Malvern Town and its people at Landrecies in November.

“I will be taking the time to separately visit the cemetery where there are several Worcestershire Regimental Soldiers buried.

“Should anyone have a relative buried there, I would be pleased to place a British Legion Cross at their grave.”

Contact Malvern Town Council on 01684 566667 for more.

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