Prime Minister Pays Respect to War Dead in Belgium and France

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has paid respects on behalf of the nation to those who died in Belgium and France during the First World War. She attended ceremonies with Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister, to mark the event. She also laid wreaths at the graves of John Parr and George Ellison, the first and last soldiers to die in the conflict.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“A century ago British forces fought side by side with our allies in Europe on the Western Front. Today in France and Belgium we reflect on our shared history, but also look ahead to our shared future, built on peace, prosperity and friendship.

At St Symphorien I will have the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of a nation at the graves of both John Parr and George Ellison, the first and last UK soldiers to die during the War. That their graves lie opposite each other is a fitting and poignant symbol that brings home the eternal bond between them, and every member of the Armed Forces who gave their lives to protect what we hold so dear.

We remember the heroes who lost their lives in the horror of the trenches. As the sun sets on one hundred years of remembrance, we will never forget their sacrifice”.

Emily Dawes, Student Union President at Southampton, Calls for War Memorial to be Painted Over

Emily Dawes, theĀ President of Southampton Studentsā€™ Union, has said that a war memorial at the university should be painted over. The memorial was painted in 1916 and is a tribute to those who died in the First World War and never received their university degree. Dawes threatened to paint the memorial over herself if the university didn’t agree to do so.

After a series of Twitter posts asking Dawes to reconsider her position to avoid causing offense to those who died in the war, she posted on Twitter:

“As white people, we are so so ignorant and closed minded without even realising it”.

The University of Southampton rejected the President’s comments and said in a statement:

“The comments made by the Students’ Union President regarding the Rothenstein Mural are not shared by the University of Southampton and do not represent the views of the University community”.

The Students’ Union also distanced themselves from the comments made by President, saying in a statement:

“This does not follow our mission or values”.