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  1. ITV Report

One of WW1's bloodiest battle to be marked in Wales and Belgium

The centenary of one of the First World War's bloodiest battles will be marked by commemorations in Wales and Belgium, First Minister Carwyn Jones has revealed.

The wreckage of a British tank beside the infamous Menin Road near Ypres, Belgium Credit: PA Wire

Mr Jones, who launched a programme of events on Thursday to mark 100 years since the First World War, said the central focus for this year's commemoration would be the battle of Passchendaele.

More than half a million troops - 325,000 Allied troops and 260,000 Germans - died in the battle, officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, in the West Flanders region of northern Belgium in 1917.

Among those to fight in the battle that claimed the lives of many Welsh soldiers, was the renowned Welsh language poet, Hedd Wyn, who is buried at the nearby Artillery Wood cemetery, close to Ypres.

Cymru'n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914 - 1918 gives us the opportunity to remember the lives of those who served in the First World War.

The sacrifices the people of Wales made, alongside the rest of the UK and allied forces, should never be forgotten.

Programme 2017 is testament to the outstanding level of collaboration and engagement seen across Wales since 2014. It is important future generations understand how this terrible war shaped modern Wales, and we must learn lessons from the past to take us into a more peaceful future.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister

The Welsh events will take place alongside other commemorations planned by the UK Government.