Eurostar 'Entente Cordiale' carries HRH the Duke of Kent, veterans and patrons to the Somme

27 Sep 2004
  • Opening of new Visitors Centre at Thiepval - "the memorial to the missing"
  • Over 72,000 names of British soldiers missing or not identified
  • Thiepval the only joint Franco-British war grave cemetery
  • Visitors Centre officially opened by HRH The Duke of Kent and the Président du Conseil Général de la Somme

Eurostar "Entente Cordiale" will today (27 September) carry HRH the Duke of Kent, other VIP guests, veterans, patrons, families and relatives of those who are remembered at the massive Thiepval memorial in the Somme. The party will be joining guests who will have come from all over the world for the official opening ceremony of the new £1.8 million visitor centre by HRH the Duke of Kent and the Président of the Conseil Général de la Somme.
The "memorial to the missing" at Thiepval is inscribed with the names of 72,000 British soldiers missing or not identified in the tragic battles during WW1 in the Somme. The new visitor centre has been designed to be informative and educational and is primarily aimed at schoolchildren. The whole centre provides comprehensive facilities where once there was just the memorial and no explanation of the significance of the site.
Eurostar "Entente Cordiale" is operating as a special charter from Waterloo and Ashford International Terminals to Haute Picardie station on the French high-speed line. This will be the first time there will have been a Eurostar service to this station. The party of approximately 350 passengers have travelled from all parts of Britain.
Eurostar's Director of Communications, Paul Charles, commented: "Eurostar is delighted and honoured to be involved in this very special event. It is entirely appropriate that as partner to the 100-year entente cordiale celebrations that we are supporting this major joint British/French initiative. The new visitor centre will compliment the memorial as an important focal point for those wanting to learn more about the many soldiers who gave their lives in the Somme."
Notes to Editors:
1. Eurostar is the fast train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.
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