Belfast Telegraph

Memorials upgraded as PM joins events in Belgium to commemorate Passchendaele

By Emily Beament

More than a dozen war memorials have been listed or had their protection upgraded to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Prime Minister Theresa May, the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall will join the descendants of 4,000 soldiers at events taking place in Belgium next week to mark 100 years since the bloody battle started.

The British and Commonwealth attacks were fought near the Belgian city of Ypres between July 31 and November 10, 1917, in battlefields that turned to liquid mud and summed up in poet Siegfried Sassoon's line "I died in hell, they called it Passchendaele". To mark the centenary of the start of the battle, 13 war memorials across England have been listed or upgraded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Government heritage body Historic England.

They include a memorial in Northampton to a celebrated rugby player, a park landscaped as a memorial garden by ex-servicemen in Carlisle and the focal point of a village built for disabled veterans in Lancaster.

Roger Bowdler from Historic England said: "These newly listed and upgraded memorials are just some of the tributes to the losses of so many."

More than half-a-million troops - 325,000 Allied troops and 260,000 Germans - died in the battle, officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, in the West Flanders region of northern Belgium in 1917.

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