Belgium commemorates Commonwealth soldiers
Ambassador Sooklal lays the wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Soldier
Every year Defence honours the fallen soldiers of the Commonwealth at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels. The Grave of the Unknown Soldier was erected after the First World War and represents all fallen Soldiers who were never identified. The Commonwealth countries lost about 1.7 million soldiers including South Africans. Many of them are buried in Belgium and France. In order to manage these graves, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was founded and has more than 2.500 grave sites worldwide of which the biggest is in Ieper: known as The Tyne Cot Cemetery.
On 10 November 2011, a Representative of the Belgian Ministry of Defence and the South African Ambassador Anil Sooklal – as lead Nation for the Commonwealth for this year’s event, lit the flame and laid the wreath.
Text: Laurence Gastout - Photo: Ritchie Sedeyn