Published: 17:33, 30 April 2018
| Updated: 17:42, 30 April 2018
Little known today, the Beauvais Agreement signed by the various Allied Governments in the First World War, was regarded as one of the most significant accords of its time.
In it, the Allies agreed to place their forces under the unitary command of the French Marshal, Ferndinand Foch.
The new unity of purpose was credited with the Allies' better performance in the last stages of the war.
Last month marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the accord and 150 dignitaries from six countries including France, USA, UK, Belgium, Italy and Portugal, gathered at the historic town in northern France for a wreath-laying ceremony that took place in the very room where the agreement had been signed.
Among the guests were Remi Becourt-Foch, the grandson of the French Marshal, and also Cllr Malcolm Greer, the Mayor of Maidstone.
The Mayor and his wife attended because Maidstone has its own special accord with Beauvais - the two towns have been twinned since
As an additional honour, the Mayor was invited by the organiser of the event, Monsieur Jean Marie Jullien, to take with him an honour guard of Maidstone Sea Cadets and he took Cdt 1st Class Rosie Mills, AC Cameron Cook-Clarke, OC Calum Godden, and Cdt 1st Class Sherwood. They were accompnaied by Cllr David Naghi, the chairman of the Maidstone Sea Cadets, and PO Sam Stevens, the Officer in Charge.
The Mayor said afterwards: “Most people are not aware of the Beauvais agreement. However it was widely acknowledged by the armed forces as marking a real turning point in the First World War - it undoubtedly contributed to the victories in the summer of 1918.
“It was an honour to be involved in this historic event and we all enjoyed it immensely. It will be one of those occasions that we will remember forever.”
More by this authorAlan Smith