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Passchendaele Centenary Commemoration Service

Date issued: 25 July 2017

Colchester Mayor, Cllr Gerard Oxford, will join a Service of Commemoration marking the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele - also known as the Third Battle of Ypres - on Monday 31 July 2017.

An estimated 245,000 allied and 215,000 German casualties (dead, wounded or missing) fell during approximately 100 days of heavy fighting near the village of Passchendaele, in northern Belgium, which saw the front line move only 8km.

The service, which will take place at the War Memorial in Colchester High Street, will be led by Reverend David Barrett, Senior Chaplain for 16 Air Assault Brigade, and has been organised by the Colchester branch of the Royal British Legion, Colchester Garrison and Colchester Borough Council.

Mayor Oxford will be joined by members of the Council, Honorary Aldermen, and representatives from the Garrison and the Royal British Legion, in observing a two-minute silence at 11am. Lord Petre, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, will also be present, in what will be his final pre-retirement Colchester civic event.

Cllr Gerard Oxford, Mayor of Colchester, said: "As we continue to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, it is important that we remember the enormous sacrifice of all those who fought and died on the battlefields of Flanders 100 years ago.

"As the war recedes into the distance, it becomes harder to imagine their dreadful suffering, but we owe it to them, and to future generations, to continue to learn from the terrible lessons of war.

"I hope residents will be able to join me in paying tribute to those who fell during the Battle of Passchendaele, during this special remembrance service on 31July."