Battle of Amiens

Last week HRH Prince William and Prime Minister Theresa May joined members of the Armed Forces to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Amiens in France.

The Battle of Amiens, which began on August 8,1918, marked the beginning of the end of the First World War and involved thousands of allied forces, with more than 19,000 soldiers being killed or injured in three days of fighting.

The subsequent months, known as the Hundred Days Offensive, involved allied advances and successes on the Western Front and resulted in the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

The commemoration event, which was held in Amiens Cathedral in France, was organised by the UK in collaboration with Australia, Canada, France and the US and was attended by more than 3000 guests. Guests were able to get tickets through a ballot and many of those present were people who had a connection to the battle and the Prime Minister and Prince William met with some of the descendants of those who fought at Amiens.

This ceremony was one of many which have taken place over the past four years to commemorate the First World War and remember those who sacrificed their lives during the war. The conclusion of these commemorations will be on November 11 this year, with a series of events throughout the country to mark the centenary of the Armistice.

At the start of these commemorations, I joined forces with the Royal British Legion at Greenhithe and Swanscombe to put together an educational booklet for primary school children in Dartford to show the role our town played in the conflict.

As well as featuring key facts about the war, the booklet is filled with stories about Dartfordians going to war, life in the trenches, the businesses which Dartford became well-known for, as well as a map showing where soldiers are buried in the constituency.

I still have a number of copies of the booklet available. If you would like one, please email me at gareth.johnson.mp@parliament.uk