The idea of a Flanders Fields Memorial Garden was conceived
during a conversation in 2008 between Andrew Wallis, Curator of the
Guards Museum, Nic Vandermarliere, then Representative of the
Flemish Government in London and Piet Blanckaert, Landscape
Architect from Bruges.
After several discussions, agreement was reached that the
dilapidated concrete pond situated between the Guards Chapel and
the Guards Museum should be replaced with a garden to commemorate
the sacrifice made by millions of soldiers during World War I.
In 2010, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great
Britain joined the 3 partners in order to assist in raising the
Since 2002 the Flemish
Government has had a General Representative Office in the UK, based
in Flanders House, located on Cavendish Square. Flanders House is
also home to Flanders Investment and Trade and Tourism
Flanders. Flanders House is part of the
Belgian Embassy and their role is to promote Flanders in the
UK. Nic Van der
Marliere, current General Representative of the Flemish Government
in London is actively involved in the realisation of the Memorial
Garden and has secured the moral and financial support of the
Flemish Government for this project.
The museum’s main role is to provide a safe and secure
repository for artefacts belonging to the five regiments of Her
Majesty’s Foot Guards. The museum strives to make these artefacts
available for viewing by members of these regiments as well as by
the general public.
The Guards Museum is located next to the Memorial Garden and will
look after the garden once it has been completed. Andrew
Wallis, the Curator, is one of the driving forces behind bringing
the project to a successful conclusion. All sponsorship funds are
channeled through the museum’s charity - the Guards Museum Trust
Piet Blanckaert Landscape Architect
The Memorial Garden has been designed by internationally
acclaimed landscape architect Piet Blanckaert from Bruges, Belgium.
His design is the fruition of a long and personal thought process
and the result is at the same time both splendid and sobering. As
one of the founding fathers of this project, Piet is also
overseeing the careful execution of the works down to the finest
Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain
The BLCC is a one-stop shop for Belgian and Luxembourg companies
which are exporting to and investing in the United Kingdom. Through
its Chairman Michel Vanhoonacker, the BLCC is involved in
attracting sponsors from the business world to help realise the
Memorial Garden. From brochures to the website and from building
materials to cash donations, the BLCC is committed to raising
£600,000 in order to make the Garden a sustainable reality.