Ipswich: Mayor to unveil panels for First World War dead in French town of Arras

The information panels before being unveiled at Faubourg d’Amiens, Arras, France. The information panels before being unveiled at Faubourg d’Amiens, Arras, France.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
9:00 AM

The Mayor of Ipswich will be in France today to unveil information panels at a war memorial.

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Councillor Hamil Clarke will be joining his counterpart M. Frédéric Leturque at Ipswich’s twin town Arras.

The aim of the panels is to help new generations understand the sacrifices made by servicemen and women during the First World War.

The panels at Arras are part of a global initiative by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to provide more information to the public during the centenary of the First World War.

Through a combination of traditional interpretive techniques and the latest smartphone technology, the panels reveal the personal stories of some of those buried or commemorated at the location – people like Second Lieutenant Walter Tull, who was a professional footballer and the first person of Afro-Caribbean heritage to become a commissioned officer in the British Army, and fighter ace Major Edward Corringham “Mick” Mannock VC.

Mr Clarke said: “It is important for present and future generations to understand the tremendous heroism of all those who fought in the Arras sector.

“The death toll was truly horrific – and in modern eyes scarcely credible. But we will never forget their sacrifice. That is why it gives me great pleasure to stand alongside my friends from Arras and I thank them for their invitation.

“I would also like to thank the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for their continuing work to tend graves and highlight a generation’s sacrifice.

“It is even more vital that we all understand what went on and teach the lessons of history to our children.”