HERTS AT WAR

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Hertfordshire Regiment Memorial

Throughout the war years in counties across the country local communities read with great interest, concern and pride of their 'local regiments', a phenomenon that was no different in Hertfordshire. Every local newspaper that circulated between 1914 and 1918 dedicated a weekly section to the 'Herts Guards'. They ran interviews with returned soldiers, organised initiatives to send home comforts out to the fighting troops, told great stories of heroism and also had the sad duty of reporting the unit's death toll each week. From reading through these thousands of articles and learning the tale of the Herts in The Great War, it becomes immediately apparent that this resilient group of men were much admired by the community at large.

A century since the start of The Great War, we found to our surprise that not a single memorial to the local regiment exists on the Western Front, the battleground that they spent four years and five days fighting on, not once leaving the theatre of conflict. This is something we would like to change.

After making contact with local residents in the Flanders region of Belgium with an idea to place a memorial to the Regiment, we were put in touch with the local Langemarck-Poelcapelle town council. Our proposal was simple; to build and place a memorial to the Hertfordshire Regiment at the site of their famous and tragic attack on the village of St Julien on 31st July 1917.

Fortunately, the area that the Herts boys attacked on 31st July 1917 is today inhabited by a community who, like so many others in Northern France & Belgium, treasure the land that they occupy and honour the sacrifice made by soldiers of all nations during The Great War. With the help of Sint Juliian (as it is called today) resident and military historian Stijn Butaye, we were able to put forward our case as to why a memorial to the Hertfordshire Regiment would be appropriate in the area, and how we could make it a reality.

After considering our proposal with other town council members, we were delighted to learn that permission to place a memorial has been granted! This will take place on 31st July 2017, 100 years to the day that the Battle of St Julien took place.

The exact location of the memorial has now been agreed and it will be unveiled on the morning of 31st July 2017 near to 'Triangle Farm', an important area of the battlefield which marks the furthest advance made by the Hertfordshire Regiment that day.  

Although the location and specific dedication to the Herts is as fitting as we believe could be possible for that battle, we would also like to dedicate the memorial not only to the casualties on that day, but to all the men of the Hertfordshire Regiment who served on the Western Front during WW1, and especially to the 848 that never returned home. With your help we can make it happen.


We are delighted to announce that to date we have raised £5000 toward the placement of the memorial on 31st July 2017. This sum will allow us to construct and maintain the memorial into the future and hold a small unveiling event on 31st July itself. We are still able to receive donations to help support us in the unveiling ceremony and subsequent free 'battlefield walk', if you wish to make a contribution please contact us HERE.

31st July 2017 - Official Unveiling

We plan to unveil the Hertfordshire Regiment memorial at 11.00am on Monday 31st July 2017 and we would be pleased to welcome all who wish to attend. The event is entirely free and open to all. Following the unveiling we will be offering a free 'battlefield walk', following in the footsteps of the men of the Battalion as they made their attack that day. If you or your group wish to join us we ask that you register your interest HERE. Spaces for this walk are limited to please do let us know ASAP. We will also be holding a Barbecue within St Julien itself in the afternoon of 31st and laying a wreath at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres that evening.

If you would like any further information about the plans for the day please contact us HERE 

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