Remembering the fallen
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Panoramic photo by Robert Bilsland EXPERT Taken 07:49, 05/11/2011 - Views loading...

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Remembering the fallen

The World > Europe > UK > England

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On the 31st October 1914 in Gheluvelt (near Ypres), Belgium the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment were engaged in the First Battle of Ypres. The British forces, who were outnumbered and outgunned, were attempting to stop a much larger and better armed German army who were determined to break the British lines and get to the channel ports.

At around midday the Germans finally broke through the British lines at Gheluvelt and the only reserves available were the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment in a nearby wood. The 364 men lead by Major Hankey mounted a bayonet charge under heavy machine gun and artillery fire and managed to drive over 1,000 German troops from the grounds of Gheluvelt chateau and surrounding areas. Field Marshal Sir John French described the day as the day "the 2nd Worcesters Saved the British Empire". On the German side things weren't so good. They had sustained such heavy losses that they named the day "the slaughter of the innocents".

After the war it was decided to remember what an important part the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment had played and in 1922 Gheluvelt Park was opened by Field Marshal John French, the Earl of Ypres. The park was built with a grand memorial arch and a distinctive bandstand situated in the middle of a small lake.

Now fast forward to 2010 and the unveiling of what you see here, a war memorial to remember the fallen of all wars. But this memorial has more meaning than at first sight, its 27 steel panels symbolising the number of casualties during the First World War. Each panel might seem to be of a random height, but they each represent the number of causalities during a two month period from 1914 to 1918 with each 1cm represents 500 casualties.

As you stand there looking at the steel panels the figures of war are all around, it’s a sobering thought as you stand there next to the tallest panel knowing that it’s height represents over 300,000 causalities.

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This panorama was taken in England, Europe

This is an overview of Europe

Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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