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PM and Prince William mark the centenary of WW1 battle

By Tony Jones

Theresa May has paid tribute to the "courage, bravery and skill" of troops who fought in the First World War Battle of Amiens as a poignant commemoration service marked its centenary.

Relatives of soldiers who served and died in the conflict also spoke of their pride and sadness as they joined the Prime Minister and the Duke of Cambridge at the event, staged exactly 100 years after the start of the offensive.

The battle changed the course of the war, as the comprehensive Allied victory, due to superior tactics, technology and leadership, finally convinced German commanders they could not win.

In Amiens Cathedral in northern France, the story of the battle was told through contemporary letters, diaries and poems read by guests from the 2,000-strong congregation.

In her message printed in the official programme, Mrs May highlighted how the battle heralded the beginning of the period known as the Hundred Days offensive.

The Prime Minister, who has been on holiday in Europe, wrote: "We remember with profound respect all those who served on both sides of the battle and we give thanks for their courage, bravery and skill which would lead to what the world had long yearned for, the guns finally falling silent."

William said in his address: "Amiens was symbolic of the Entente Cordiale, the co-operation without which victory was impossible."

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