Euro MP lays wreath at Ypres Memorial Gate

Peter Skinner MEP

Peter Skinner MEP

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PEOPLE across Eastbourne stopped to remember the country’s war dead with the town’s Euro MP marking the occasion by laying a wreath in Ypres – the scene of more than 300,000 British soldier deaths.

Peter Skinner visited the memorial at the Menin Gate in the Belgian town of Ypres to pay his respects to the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown.

Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and built by the British Government, the Menin Gate Memorial was unveiled back in 1927.

Ypres occupied a key strategic position in World War one and was the focus of five major battles over the course of the war including the Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Passchendaele. The town held out but 300,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed. The memorial gate bears the names of 54,389 men who fell in the Ypres Salient and who have no known grave.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Skinner said, “It was very moving to be here today. So many men and women gave their lives to protect our freedoms. We must never forget their sacrifice.”