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Leverstock Green soldier Reggie Secretan will be one of hundreds honoured on Belgian Great War memorial

The 1st Hertfordshire regiment featuring Leverstock Green's 2nd lieutenant Reggie Secretan, centre

The 1st Hertfordshire regiment featuring Leverstock Green's 2nd lieutenant Reggie Secretan, centre

 

The first and only memorial to the brave Hertfordshire soldiers who fought in the First World War could soon be erected on the Western Front.

Plans for the memorial to the Hertfordshire Regiment have been approved by the government in Belgium, with a location already chosen in the country.

It is expected to be unveiled on July 31 2017, 100 years to the day that the infamous battle at St Julien took place in the Flanders region.

The historical society Herts At War, set up to co-ordinate centenary events and iniatives across the county, is aiming to raise £5,000 to build and dedicate the memorial.

Herts At War spokesman Clive Harris said: “The Hertfordshire Regiment lost almost 1,000 officers and men throughout the course of the Great War, many of whom were natives of the county they so bravely represented.

“The single worst day for the Herts Guards, as they were affectionately known, was their ill-fated attack at St Julien near Ypres, in a battle that today we know as Passchendaele.

“On July 31 1917, the Herts attacked at around 10am with 620 men, and two hours later less than 100 returned. Every major town and village in Herts lost a man in the attack that day, some lost many more.

“The planned memorial will stand on the site that the attack commenced, on the river Steenbeke on the outskirts of St Julien, and will not only commemorate those who fell that day, but all of those who fought with the Herts Guards throughout the Great War.”

Hemel Hempstead’s own Reggie Secretan, who lived in Leverstock Green, was one of the hundreds killed at Passchendaele. He was just 22.

For details of how you could help fund the memorial or submit your stories to Herts At War, email info@hertsatwar.co.uk. Click here for more about the memorial and Herts At War.

 

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