Princess Anne to attend Zeebrugge Raid commemoration

Summary

The Princess Royal and her husband will be in Zeebrugge and Bruges on 21 April to commemorate the Zeebrugge Raid

More than 200 casualties

The UK’s princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, will be in Zeebrugge on the Flemish coast later this month for the centenary commemoration of the Zeebrugge Raid. The First World War military operation was intended to block German ships and submarines from leaving the port of Zeebrugge.

The Zeebrugge Raid was carried out by the Royal Navy and involved sinking obsolete vessels in order to stop German shipping and U-boats from leaving the port. A concurrent operation was carried out in Ostend.

The operation in Zeebrugge was unseccessful, as the ships were not such at the most strategic location, and German submarines were able to pass through at high tide after a few days. While the Germans lost 24 men, the British lost 225 naval officers, and more than 400 were wounded.

The Raid took place on 23 April 1918, but the commemoration is being held on the Saturday previous, 21 April. The Princess Royal and Sir Tim, a retired naval officer, will also visit the exhibition 1914-18, the Battle for the North Sea in Bruges.

The couple were most recently in Flanders last autumn for the Last Post ceremony in Ypres on Armistice Day.

Photo: Princess Anne at the Menin Gate on 11 November 2017
©Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA

First World War

Claiming the lives of more than nine million people and destroying entire cities and villages in Europe, the Great War was one of the most dramatic armed conflicts in human history. It lasted from 1914 to 1918.
Flanders Field - For four years, a tiny corner of Flanders known as the Westhoek became one of the war’s major battlefields.
Untouched - Poperinge, near Ypres, was one of the few towns in Flanders that remained unoccupied for most of the war.
Cemetery - The Tyne Cot graveyard in Passchendaele is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world.
550 000

lives lost in West Flanders

368 000

annual visitors to the Westhoek

1 914

First Battle of Ypres