Landrecies is a small town in north-eastern France, that was captured by the Germans on 25 August 1914 and remained in their hands until a second battle in October 1918 when British forces, including a large contingent of the Royal Worcestershire Regiment, helped liberate the town.
After the end of the war, many French towns were devastated and turned to the Mayors of towns in England for help. The Mayor of Worcester chaired a committee to organise aid to be sent to towns in France and Belgium; and Malvern “adopted” Landrecies, providing funds and helping with restoration.
This assistance helped forge a lasting friendship between the two towns. In November 1998, eighty years after the end of the First World War, the then Mayor of Malvern, Cllr Graham Myatt, travelled to Landrecies and was present for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on the “Malvern Gate”, an archway built at the junction of roads where the hand to hand battle took place on the night of 25 August 1914.
To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Mayor of Landrecies invited members of the Town Council to join them in commemorations. Town Councillor Ian Hopwood and his wife Janet made the trip to represent Malvern, during which they visited the town’s war cemetery, the unveiling of a plaque at the primary school in the name of a member of the resistance and an exhibition on the Great War followed by a reception meal.
The visit helped celebrate the special alliance between the two towns whilst commemorating all those who were injured or lost their lives in the fight for freedom in 1914 and 1918.
Cllr Hopwood said: “I was very honoured to represent Malvern Town at Landrecies and it was very moving to visit the cemetery where there are 150 Worcestershire Regimental Soldiers buried. We were very well looked after and I hope that this friendship will continue in the future. I would urge people to visit Landrecies if they can and find out more about its history and connection with Malvern.