Ceremony keeps memory of RGLI alive

GUERNSEY and France held simultaneous memorial services yesterday to commemorate the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry’s efforts to protect and defend the town of Masnieres during the First World War.

The service marked 105 years since the Battle of Les Rues Vertes, a suburb of Masnieres, in which a third of the RGLI men died.

The local ceremony was held at the RGLI memorial in the Sunken Gardens to remember those who lost their lives.

The wreath-laying ceremony at the RGLI Memorial in the Sunken Garden was led by the Lt-Governor, Lt General Richard Cripwell, and Bailiff Richard McMahon. (31533885)

In Masnieres, a similar ceremony took place at the same time at its sister memorial stone, with a number of RGLI representatives in attendance.

‘We keep the memory alive,’ said RGLI Charitable Trust chairman Chris Oliver.

‘It was Guernsey’s own regiment and a regiment in the British Army who held the line, saving the allies.’

The annual service is held on the closest Sunday to the anniversary.

‘We have children who lost parents who left the island and are trying to connect back with it. It changed lives,’ said Mr Oliver.

Daniel Mollison, 17, and Millie Fox, 16, laid a wreath on behalf of Blanchelande College. (31533901)

He said that due to the number of lives lost in the battle, there was a catastrophic impact on the island’s economy.

‘In the First World War, half of the regiment was lost. The effect of men not coming back home means that Guernsey’s economy didn’t recover until 1930.’

He also said it was important to remember the ongoing war in Ukraine as a reminder that conflict still takes place.

Members of the band of the Boys’ Brigade played the Last Post which was followed by a two-minute silence. (31533869)

The Dean of Guernsey, the Very Rev. Tim Barker, led the service, which began with the Boys’ Brigade Band playing the Last Post, followed by a two-minute silence.

Wreaths were then laid by Lt-Governor Lt General Richard Cripwell and Bailiff Richard McMahon, along with representatives of the RGLI, students from Blanchelande College, and other local officials.

Representatives of France and the Royal British Legion did the same, and so did Deputy John Gollop, as Father of the House, on behalf of the States.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News