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Belgium lights up WWI Western Front

Belgium lights up WWI Western Front
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Catherine Wheels and a fireworks waterfall have marked the beginning of a World War I torchlight remembrance in Belgium.

Some 8,400 torchbearers took part in the ceremony on Friday night, which lit up 85 kilometres of countryside.

The Western Front – as it was known a hundred years ago – was recreated with torches lit every 10 metres.

The block of land in the westernmost part of Flanders was the frontline of fighting against Germany.

Belgium’s King Philip and Queen Mathilde lit candles at the Ploegsteert Memorial for the missing.

Roughly 600,000 people died on Belgian soil during the first world war.

The idea for Friday’s memorial came from survivors.

They described how troops could see each others’ lights along the front line, across plains which had been ordered to be flooded to prevent the German advance.