Guernsey Press

Sacrifices of the RGLI marked a century on

A LASTING tribute to the brave soldiers of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry was unveiled at a poignant service in Masnieres, northern France, yesterday.

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The memorial at Masnieres to the men of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry was unveiled in a ceremony attended by both French and Bailiwick representatives yesterday. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 20042001)

In bitterly cold conditions, a memorial carved from Guernsey granite was blessed in Les Rues Vertes on a street where the RGLI sustained heavy losses holding back a huge German counter-attack exactly a century ago during the First World War.

Above the memorial flew the Guernsey and French flags as representatives from both jurisdictions gathered to mark the occasion.

The streets fell silent of traffic as the memorial parade marched to the site before the service.

‘Les Rues Vertes was the end of a generation in Guernsey,’ Lt-Governor Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder said while addressing the service.

‘Overall, it is estimated that from an island population of just over 30,000, 8,000 fought in the Great War, of whom 1,470 never returned.’

More than 300 were lost in the aftermath of the Battle of Cambrai, holding their position amid fierce hand-to-hand combat and artillery fire while the allies withdrew around them.

Full coverage in today's Guernsey Press with more to follow next week in a special free supplement