Prince marks New Zealand losses at Passchendaele: We may never understand horror

Postado Outubro 13, 2017

Children look on as New Zealand soldier carries a poppy wreath during a commemoration ceremony of the WWI Battle of Passchendaele at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium on Wednesday, Oct.

William, who is representing the Queen, marks the centenary of what became known as the darkest day of the war for the New Zealand Division, which suffered heavy loses on October 12 1917.

The Duke met with representatives of the New Zealand Parliament and government at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Flanders, which is run by the War Graves Commission, which has responsibility for the burial space. There was nothing ordinary about their service or their sacrifice. All told, the Battle of Passchendaele would claim close to 2,000 lives - a devastating toll for a country with a population of just over a million. Entire communities were robbed of their young people.

At Passchendaele 1860 New Zealand soldiers were wounded and 845 killed.

William went on to say: "The fight in these fields was of a magnitude and ferocity that is hard for us, today, to fully comprehend".

Before the service began, William and Astrid were greeted by the Maori cultural group of the New Zealand Defence Force, whose spiritual calls and chants rang out across the white headstones. The royal received a traditional Maori greeting upon his arrival from former corporal Bill Henry "Willie" Apiata and paid a moving tribute to the New Zealand troops who fought in World War I.