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Maidstone Mayor Dave Naghi reads the eulogy at Menin Gate remembrance service

By Alan Smith

During his Mayoralty, now coming to a close, Cllr Dave Naghi has done much to advertise the town of Maidstone both near and far.

This month he was in Belgium accompanying the Brompton and Maidstone Military Wives Choir on a tour of the First World War sites.

They visited the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, which records the names of 54,00 soldiers who died in the First World War but whose bodies were never recovered.

The Mayor with Gurkha officers and members of the Military Wives Choir
The Mayor with Gurkha officers and members of the Military Wives Choir

Each night at 8pm, traffic is stopped while buglers from the Last Post Association sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial's arches.

On this occasion Cllr Naghi was invited to read the eulogy and afterwards the wives sang some hymns.

The group were accompanied by serving Gurkha officers from Maidstone's Invicta Barracks.

The Mayor of Maidstone meets Belgian civic officials at the Menin Gate
The Mayor of Maidstone meets Belgian civic officials at the Menin Gate

Afterwards they travelled to the Poelkappelle Cemetery, where they laid wreaths at the grave of John Condon, the youngest British soldier to be killed in the war, his grave records his age as 14.

The cemetery also contains the graves of a number of members of Maidstone's own Royal West Kent Regiment who went to fight overseas and never came home.

Cllr Naghi said: "It was a very moving occasion.

"Everywhere we went we were warmly welcomed by our Belgian hosts."

Watch a video here.

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