Remembrance Day/Jour du Souvenir - Veurne - 12/11/2017
Since 20-years, a Remembrance Day has been held in Veurne. Since last year, the French fallen from WWI, buried in Veurne, are also honored.
This year the church service was celebrated in the Sint-Jans Onthoofdingschurch of the Veurnse district of Eggewaartskapelle. The mass celebration was preceded by priest Jos Ostyn and was musically carried by the Sint-Niklaaskoor of Diksmuide.


Reading by Mrs. Nadine Lamote, president Souvenir Français West Flanders: in memory of Joseph Lézin.


Reading by José Clauw, membre organisation and Honourable Souvenir Français West Flanders, department Veurne
In Memory of Capt. Christopher JEFFREYS
Christopher John Darell JEFFREYS was born in London on 30th December 107. He was the only son of General Sir George Darell JEFFREYS and Lady JEFFREYS (maiden name HESELTINE) from Hampshire. General JEFFREYS, 1st Baron JEFFREYS, was honored with several medals of honour, such as: Knight Commander of the  Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael & Saint George. In 1931 he married Lady Rosemary JEFFREYS (maiden name AGAR), daughter of the 4th Earl Normanton. Their first son, Mark Christopher, 2nd Baron JEFFREYS, was born in 1932. George Christian Darell was born in 1939.
Just like his father, Christopher chose for a career in the army. He got the rank of Sergeant at the age of 19 at the Royal Military College. He joined the 3th Bn Grenadier Guards in 1927 as Lieutenant. He served in India from 1933 until 1935. In November 1937 he promoted to Captain. He got Staff Officer in January 1938. The next year, Great-Britain, France and Poland declared war to Nazi-Germany, and  Captain JEFFREYS was embarked to France with the British Expeditionary Force on 14th September 1939. In January 1940 he got a Commanding Officer of the 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards. Some months later, during the withdrawal of Dunkirk, he and his men did their duty during ‘The Battle of Furnes’. In company of the Commanding Officer and another colleague Company Commander, Captain JEFFREYS had to recce the canal area. All three of this brave men were hit by German sniper fire. They all died there of there wounds.
We remember him with honour.


Beyond the names of Joseph LEZIN – French Fusilier Marin – and Capt. Christopher JEFFREYS of the 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards, are here the names of the RAF people we yearly commemorate:
From the Wellingtoncrew of 38 Sqn RAF who crashed on 31 May 1940 at Veurne:
• Pilot Vivian Allen William ROSEWARNE •
Co-pilot Roy BAYNES
• Observer John KNIGHT
• Air Gunner Dennis Douglas George SPENCER
• Wireless Operator John DOLAN
• Air Gunner James Campbell ADAMS

From the Lancastercrew of 103 Sqn RAF who crashed on 28 May 1944 at Eggewaartskapelle:
• Pilot Thomas Gordon LEGGETT
• Engineer William Austin EDWARDS
• Navigator Raymond Henri BEER
• Flight Sergeant Lawrence IRELAND
• Air Gunner Albert Victor JONES
• Air Bomber Arthur Alexander WILKS
• Air Gunner Philip Charles GORE – Who died 2nd October 2008 at the age of 88

Welcome and some information on the graves befor us by José Clauw

In the night of 27th on 28th May 1944, the Lancasterbomber of the crew of Phil Gore took off from Elsham Wolds for a raid on Aachen. On their way back home, some miles from Ostend, the rear gunner warned the skipper that they have been followed by a German nightfighter. Some seconds later, their plane caught on fire and finally crashed near Eggewaartskapelle.
Five men are buried near this church. The rear gunner baled out, but had problems with his parachute. Some days later, he was found by the Germans and buried at Koksijde, near Veurne. One man survived the crash, got some help from the local people, and started walking in a foreign country occupied by the enemy. At last he was taken prisoner of War and stayed in Stalag Luft until 1st May 1945.
It was our friend Alister More who helped us by bringing Phil Gore to this place in 2001. Since that time, Phil, Mary, Tony & Pam come every year over to share Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the crash. Phil rests since 2007 with his comrades for ever in this ground.


To The Fallen


Last Post and one-minute silence





Wreath Laying:
On behalf of the RAF Marham : squadron leader James Poynton


On behalf of the Family Gore: Mr. Tony Gore 


In personal name: Henri and Francine Knops


On behalf of the Organisation: Mr. José Clauw


On behalf of the City Veurne: Mrs. Céline Mouton


On the way to the British Military Cemetery of Veurne


Welcome and speech by José Clauw
At the end of May 1940, Furnes was another key stronghold as far as the BEF were concerned; if this town fell the Germans would be on the Eastern beaches of De Panne in a matter of hours.
This time the unenviable task of holding the line was given to 1st and 2nd Grenadier Guards. They were receiving news that the South Lancs and East Surreys were struggling to hold the perimeter around Nieuwpoort and new it would only be a matter of time before they felt the full weight of the German advance like their sister regiment had on the 'Canal Perimeter'. They were already being subjected to sporadic shelling and as they arrived to take up positions in Furnes so were advanced elements of German units.

Signalman George Jones of 1st Bn GG recalls taking up positions on one side of the canal and the Germans taking up theirs on the other side at the same time.
German snipers took up positions around the canal to make movement in Furnes hazardous to say the least.
Lieutenant Colonel Jack Lloyd, CO 2nd Bn GG had to recce the canal area with two of his Company Commanders to pace out what was their sector and help the CC's place their Coy's. As they approached the canal footpath they were advised by a Royal Engineers Sergeant not to go any further as the area was prone to sniper fire. The officer waited for an uneventful 5 minutes and decided to proceed. No sooner had they moved forward, three shots rang out in quick succession and all three officers fell to the ground.
Acting on adrenaline 2nd Lieutenant Jack Jones dashed forward under heavy machine gun and rifle fire and carried the CO back to a nearby house, unknown to him he was already dead. No sooner than he laid him down he rushed back a further two times to get the two Company Commanders -Major Pakenham and Captain Jefferys. As the firing increased across the canal it became so intense that the units stretcher bearers found it impossible to reach the building. Jones was joined by several other officers and the men we eventually extracted through the back of the house.



To The Fallen


Wreath Laying:
On behalf of the RAF Marham: squadron leader James Poynton


On behalf of the Family Gore: Mr. Tony Gore


On behalf of the French Embassy: Mr. Bernard Legay – Délégué general adjoint of Souvenir Français for Belgium and Mrs. Nadine Lamote - President Souvenir Français West Flanders


In personal name Henri Knops


For the Organisation


For the City Veurne, Mrs. Céline Mouton


Last Post, one-minute silence and God save the Queen





A cross was layed by Mr. and Mrs. Christopher and Anna Jeffreys, ‘The Lord JEFFREYS’ near the Cross of Sacrifice and near the grave of a family member.




Move up to the French Military Cemetery


Welcome and speech by Mr. Erwin Pelgrim, Souvenir Français West Flanders, department Newport



Wreath Laying;
For theFrench Embassy, Mr. Bernard Legay, Délégué general adjoint of Souvenir Français for Belgium and Mrs. Nadine Lamote, President Souvenir Français West Flanders


On behalf of Souvenir Français: Mr. Erwin Pelgrim, Souvenir Français West Flanders, department Newport and Mr. José Clauw, Souvenir Français West Flanders, department Veurne

RAF Marham, Sqn leader James Poynton


On behalf of the Family Gore: Mr. Tony Gore


On behalf of the City Veurne: Mrs. Céline Mouton


Aux Morts, Marseillaise, Brabançonne




Page made by IDG.