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Memorial service takes place in Belgium for Kent soldiers who fought 100 years ago

Memorial service
Memorial service Credit: Meridian
Ex- servicemen
Ex-servicemen attend the memorial service Credit: Meridian

Hundreds of people have turned out in a Belgium village to remember Kent soldiers who fought during the first major British battle of the Great War 100 years ago today.

Ex-servicemen, re-enactors and the Band of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment joined locals in Tertre near Mons - at the site of a memorial to the soldiers of The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment.

On August 23rd 1914 soldiers from A Company of the First Battalion engaged a much larger German force. Twenty were killed at Tertre and many others were wounded or captured as troops retreated towards the nearby bridge at St-Ghislain.

The fighting was part of the Battle of Mons, the first British action of the war on the Western Front.

The memorial - established by The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Living History Group - honours almost 7,000 troops from the regiment who died between 1914-1918 in Europe and battlefields as far away as India and the Middle East.

Also attending the commemoration service today were relatives of Kent soldiers from the Great War, including Barbara Taylor from Tonbridge who has only just found out that her father was one of the original Royal West Kents who fought with the British Expeditionary Force in 1914.

The Royal West Kents were eventually amalgamated with other regiments in the 1960s.


Behind the scenes at region's newest TV station

In just over a week's time, Brighton and Hove will have its very own TV channel.

'Latest TV' will be the first of the new local television stations to start broadcasting in our region. Further stations are planned for Oxford, Reading, Salisbury, Southampton and Basingstoke.

The Government say it's a revolution in the way people get local news. But what can viewers expect? Andy Dickenson has been taking a look around the studios and spoke to Chief Executive Bill Smith and Head of News Tim Ridgway.

Appeal to help Bulgarian bears

by David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

They've been trapped in delapidated pits in the ground since they were born but your help could rescue two bears from a hellish existence in Bulgaria.

The animals are being fed by volunteers but time is running out. Now a wildlife centre in East Kent is trying to save them.

David Johns reports, speaking to bear expert Victor Watkins and conservationist Peter Smith.

To donate to the appeal, please visit

Family tribute to Gillingham student stabbed in Borneo

The family of Aidan Brunger has issued a statement in tribute to the 22 year-old, who died in Borneo earlier this month.

Aidan Brunger
Aidan Brunger has been described as 'funny, kind hearted young man' Credit: Family photo

"Aidan’s parents and family would like to acknowledge all the love and support that they have been shown following the untimely and senseless death of Aidan in Malaysia. The enormous outpouring of love towards Aidan since he died is a lasting testament to the strength of feeling that so many people had towards him.

Aidan was born in Hemel Hempstead and raised in Rainham, Kent. He attended primary school in Hempstead then moved to Rainham Mark Grammar School for his secondary education.

Aidan excelled academically throughout his time at school and succeeded in obtaining a place to study medicine at Newcastle University. He had a great passion for sport - especially football and cricket which he both played and followed avidly. From a very young age Aidan supported Newcastle United FC and studying at university there allowed him to watch his beloved team. Aidan placed a great value on friendship and had a strong set of friends both in Kent and in Newcastle. Whilst at Newcastle he built an enduring and special relationship with his girlfriend Freja.

Aidan had successfully completed four years of study and was returning in September to start on the next phase of his medical training. When he died Aidan was working in Sarawak Hospital, Kuching, Borneo, as part of his medical degree and was looking forward to exploring South-East Asia with his friends. Aidan had thoroughly enjoyed his time in Borneo, and spoke often about how friendly and welcoming the Malaysian people were to him. In recognition of his achievements Newcastle University have awarded Aidan an Honorary MBBS degree. The family is so proud that, whilst he has been unable to complete his degree, he will be remembered as Dr Aidan Brunger.

Aidan’s family are extremely proud of him and devastated to lose such a funny, kind hearted, considerate and wonderful young man. These qualities and the precious memories they have of him have left a massive hole in their lives.

He will always be remembered."

– Family statement

Hampshire Chinooks head to Iraq

Four Chinook helicopters have left RAF Odiham in Hampshire joining the British military fleet heading east towards Iraq on a critical humanatarian mission.

They left Odiham late yesterday landing at the UK's military base in the south of Cyprus. As Mel Bloor reports, the Chinooks will support efforts to deliver aid to thousands of refugees trapped without food, water or shelter in the Sinjar mountains in northern Iraq.


Chinooks join humanitarian mission in Iraq

Chinooks are on their way to Iraq Credit: ITV

Four Chinook helicopters have left RAF Odiham in Hampshire - joining the British military fleet heading east towards Iraq - on a critical humanitarian mission.

They left Odiham late yesterday - landing at the UK's military base in the south of Cyprus.The Chinooks will support efforts to deliver aid to thousands of refugees trapped without food, water or shelter in the Sinjar mountains in northern Iraq.

The crews of Odiham are used to such missions. The question, now, though - is whether - apart from delivering aid - they'll be sent in to rescue people.

Race around Britain in memory of Rafiki crew

Sailors drowned at sea
Family member sailors around Britain in memory of yacht crew Credit: PA

Friends of one of the crew of Cheeki Rafiki - the yacht lost in the Atlantic earlier this year - will soon set off on a race in his memory.

Andrew Bridge from Farnham in Surrey is one of four sailors presumed dead. Andrew's friends are set to leave Cowes on the Round Britain and Ireland Race - in an almost identical boat.

They've already raised more than twenty five thousand pounds for the RNLI.

Holocaust survivors meet one of their liberators

Shoes of victims of the holocaust Credit: Sojka Libor/Czech News Agency/Press Association Images

A group of Holocaust survivors have had an emotional meeting in Oxfordshire with a British veteran of the Second World War, almost 70 years after he and his unit helped free them from a Nazi death camp.

There were tears as the Jewish men and women once held at the infamous Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany met Gilbert King, 96, who is one of only three former soldiers still alive of those who took the camp for the Alliesi n April 1945.

Several of the men and women were in tears as the former Gunner King told of the horrors he and his unit, the 249 (Oxfordshire Yeomanry) Battery, Royal Artillery, faced when they entered the camp on April 15, 1945.

Wilting rose caught in barbed wire Credit: Daniel Naupold/DPA/Press Association Images

They were brought together in Woodstock where the new Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum documents the history of his and other local units, including the concentration camp's liberation.

Susan Pollack, 83, was a teenager in the camp, having been sent there from her native Hungary, where she had lived with her family in a small village near Budapest.

"These people, the liberators, they represent to me the real truth about heroism - that they had a duty to do, a job to do, and yet they had the kindness and the goodness to attend to our needs with such wonderful, kind, devoted feelings.

They were the first ones actually, who kind of restated that...the world outside has not been polluted with that venom and that evil that we experienced.

Because we, I, was so dehumanised. And then to be confronted with the liberators, it was an incredible feeling."

– Susan Pollock

Some 70,000 people died at Bergen-Belsen, between Hamburg and Hanover in Northern Germany, between 1941 and 1945, including Jews from all over Europe and also Soviet prisoners of war.

It was eventually liberated by the British on April 15, 1945, just weeks before the end of the war. It is a place of remembrance visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year.

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