Councillors from Bucks attend Ypres service to remember the fallen

Councillors from Bucks during their visit to the Menin Gate at Ypres
Councillors from Bucks during their visit to the Menin Gate at Ypres

Councillors from across Bucks attended the nightly service at the Menin Gate in Ypres earlier this month.

Dignitaries including Aylesbury mayor Mark Willis attended the service, which has taken place every night for more than 90 years, at the iconic location.

Aylesbury mayor Cllr Mark Willis lays a wreath at the grave of an Aylesbury soldier who lost his life in Belgium at the age of 29

Aylesbury mayor Cllr Mark Willis lays a wreath at the grave of an Aylesbury soldier who lost his life in Belgium at the age of 29

Cllr Willis was able to lay a wreath to the fallen at the monument as part of the ceremony.

He said: "It was an absolute honour to get the opportunity to lay a wreath to our town’s wartime dead."

"They paid the ultimate sacrifice and it is right that we remember them, as well as working for peace.

"This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, the first great industrial war, and we will be remembering their sacrifice at several services in the town on November 11.

The group visited many of the World War One cemeteries including Tyne Cot where 11,965 people are remembered.

During the visit, Cllr Willis was able to lay a wreath to William Albert Foster of Park Street, Aylesbury who lost his life in Belgium, at the age of 29.

He said: "Private Foster lived in the ward that I represent as councillor.

"It shows that ordinary men, fathers, brothers and sons gave their lives in the service of our country and that there were underage children who signed up to fight despite not being legally old enough to do so.

"Some women working on the front lost their lives too which was very sad".

The group of visitors included Cllr Sue Renshell, the chairman of the district council, the High Sheriff of Bucks Professor Ruth Farwell, Cllr Bill Bendyshe-Brown from Bucks County Council and Lt Col John Williams MBE and his son Simon who helped to organise the trip alongside Joe Bradshaw from Bucks County Council.