Belgium’s King Albert laid a wreath yesterday at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier while thousands flocked to the site of one of bloodiest battles of World War I (WWI) in western Belgium to mark the 90th anniversary of the war's end.
Ceremonies across Britain, France and Belgium were held on Armistice Day to commemorate the end of the war.
In London, Queen Elizabeth II paid silent tribute at the Cenotaph memorial to those who have died serving Britain since WWI. For the first time, Prince William, wearing his military uniform and carrying a sword, joined senior members of Britain's royal family in laying wreaths at the monument.
In western Belgium, officials expected more than 10,000 visitors to the 150 war cemeteries dotting Flanders Fields.
Experts believe 100,000 soldiers remain unaccounted for 90 years after the end of the bloodiest fights, the Battle of Passchendaele, which ended with the capture of a small village church and left 500,000 soldiers from Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand dead, wounded or missing.
"There are 100,000 bodies in the ground still to be found," said Franky Bostyn, curator of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. "Every year, 40 to 50 are officially declared, or found."
Over the weekend, thousands made the pilgrimage to Passchendaele to pay tribute to those who died during the 1917 battle that pitted British-led forces from across the British Empire, including soldiers from Canada and other former colonies, against Germany.
The battle was called to a halt after Canadian reinforcements replaced devastated British, Australian and New Zealand units near Passchendaele and captured the ruined village on November 10, 1917.
35,000 names of the missing are listed on memorial walls at the Tyne Cot military cemetery, which contains 12,000 graves - making it the largest Commonwealth military burial site in the world.
（英语点津 Linda 编辑）
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Marc Checkley is a freelance journalist and media producer from Auckland, New Zealand. Marc has an eclectic career in the media/arts, most recently working as a radio journalist for NewstalkZB, New Zealand’s leading news radio network, as a feature writer for Travel Inc, New Nutrition Business (UK) and contributor for Mana Magazine and the Sunday Star Times. Marc is also a passionate arts educator and is involved in various media/theatre projects in his native New Zealand and Singapore where he is currently based. Marc joins the China Daily with support from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.