Page 1, 25th July 1941

25th July 1941
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Page 1, 25th July 1941 — HOW FREE BELGIANS CELEBRATED INDEPENDENCE DAY IN LONDON
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HOW FREE BELGIANS CELEBRATED INDEPENDENCE DAY IN LONDON

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By a CR. Reporter

Not since the beginning of the war have the Free Belgians in England come together in such great numbers as they did on Monday when they gathered in thousands in Westminster Cathedral to celebrate their national day of independence. The whole colony in London gave themselves up to holiday, and large parties of Service men, women and civilians also came up

from many parts of the country to join in the celebration.

The day was chill and overcast, and there was a sombre note—a reminder that this was celebration in spite of ill-fortune—in the double file of khaki-clad soldiers the bayonets on their rifles gleaming coldly as they stood forming the guard of honour down the entire length of the centre aisle, extending lengthwise towards the entrance and then continuing the tine so that the design they made was a Cl OSS.

The dim blue of the Free Belgian Air Force and the darker blue of the Free Bdgian naval ratings filled the aisles, and over this palette of neutral colour flickered little tongues of flames—the Belgian national emblem of black, red and yellow.

Then, as if these were symbols of the spirit that is living and strong in the hearts of all Belgians to-day, these tiny flames culminated at the foot of the high altar in a great blaze of colour where Belgian Scouts and old soldiers held aloft the banners of their country with the small standard of the AnLiens Comb:monis In cued in gold, And the brave, new flag of the present war. Through the guard of honour passed members of the Free Belgian Government—M, Pierlot, Nixie Minister: M. Speak, Foreign Minister; M. Gila and M. Vleesehatser, Minister for the Colonies, and courtly, genial Baron Cartier dc Mincitienne, Bel

gian Ambassador to Britain. Sir Roger Keyes was among the British representatives. A fanfare of trumpets greeted the Ministers as they arrived.

(Continued tin page eight)




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