The creation of a ‘Flanders Fields 1914-2014’ Memorial Garden is an initiative of The Guards Museum in conjunction with Flanders House in London, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain.
The garden is located at Wellington Barracks alongside the Guards Chapel which is adjacent to Buckingham Palace. The new garden is a unique opportunity not only to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War but also to thank the British people for their sacrifice in liberating our country.
One of the most special parts of the project involved collecting
soil from the Flanders Fields battlefield cemeteries in ceremonies
of remembrance. The Remembrance Ceremony on 11 November 2013 in
Ypres was attended by the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Laurent of
Belgium who oversaw the handover of 70 sandbags of soil.
British soldiers of the Household Division and schoolchildren from
over 63 Belgian and British schools carried the bags which were
then put onto a King’s Troop Gun Carriage.
The soil was taken to London by the Belgian Navy Frigate ‘Louisa Marie’ on 29 November where, alongside the HMS Belfast, it was handed over to the British Army.
On 30 November, the 70 sandbags were taken through London on the same King’s Troop Gun Carriage to the garden where it was laid into the circular bed in the newly constructed garden.
The ‘Flanders Fields 1914-2014’ Memorial Garden has been designed by internationally acclaimed landscape architect Piet Blanckaert from Bruges, Belgium. Every aspect has been carefully considered so that it becomes a very special memorial to all those who lost their lives or were injured in the battlefields of Flanders.
Your support for the ‘Flanders Fields 1914-2014’ Memorial Garden
will help strengthen the historical ties between our countries as
this important project seeks to bring home the British war heroes
to their regiments after 100 years.
Your help will allow British people, especially school children and people who are unable to travel to the continent, to pay their respects to their war heroes in London. The project has already become the catalyst for similar garden projects in France, Germany and Belgium.
The project is supported wholeheartedly by The Flemish Government, The House of Lords, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, The Last Post Association, The City of Westminster, the British Army, English Heritage, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain and many individual and corporate supporters.
The Garden will be opened on Thursday 6th November 2014 during a very special ceremony which will be attended by members of both countries’ Royal Families.