20 Division memorial letter 7 April 1927

On War Office Headed Notepaper.





7th April, 1927.


45/Memorials/182 (A.G.4.a.)



With reference to War Office letter, number as above, (A.G.4.b.) dated 26th October, 1926, I am directed to enquire whether the date for the unveiling of the Memorial to the 20th Division at LANGEMARCK has yet been decided.


I am to say that it is possible to obtain permission from the Belgian Government for Officers and other ranks attending the ceremony to travel through BELGIUM in uniform or plain clothes, and without passports, provided they travel in one body, under Command of an Officer, and are in possession of identity cards furnished by this Department.


They are, however, not prepared to grant permission for Arms (other than swords for officers) to be carried in their Country on occasions of this nature.


If you desire the special facilities above referred to, the following information should be furnished not later than 6 weeks before the date the party desires to start:-

  1. Date and hour of ceremony.
  2. Name of officer to perform ceremony.
  3. Strength of the party.
  4. The date and port of departure from England.
  5. The port of arrival in Belgium.
  6. The date and port of departure from Belgium.
  7. The rank and name of the officer in charge of the party.I am,                        Your obedient Servant                                    ******* *******for Director of Personal Services.Major General Sir W. Douglas Smith KCB, KCVO.,(Cox’s Branch),
  8. On reverse in handwriting.
  9. 6, Pall Mall, S.W.1.
  10. C/o Messrs Lloyds Bank Ltd.,
  11.                                     Colonel AAG
  12.             Sir.





I have asked Major Brace who is arranging all details for the unveiling ceremony to give you the information you require, his address is 19, — — & he will write to you in the course of a day or two.


I would ask whether you would kindly arrange for a senior officer of the Belgian Army to attend the ceremony.


I have etc., etc.




U.S. of State

War Office.




DEtails of trip 30 March 1927







(Subject to prevailing conditions, accommodation being obtainable, and the necessary passports and permits being granted).


The train and steamer services shown in the itinerary are subject to alteration or cancellation without notice.



Saturday                    Depart London (Victoria)    10.00

June 4th.                    Arrive Ostend.                       15.45

Depart Ostend.                     16.40

Arrive Ypres.                         18.47


Sunday                      During the morning drive by auto-car to Langemarck for the

June 5th                     unveiling ceremony, and return to Ypres in time for luncheon.

In the afternoon a drive will be arranged, passing through Vlamertinghe, Poperinghe, Reninhelst, La Clytte, Locre, Mont Kemmel, Messines, Wytschaete, Hollbeke, Hill 60, Zillebeke, Menin Gate, and return to Ypres.


Monday                      Depart Ypres.                                    9.18

June 6th.                    Arrive Ostend.                                   11.33.

Depart Ostend.                                 14.30.

Arrive London (Victoria).                 20.27.



INCLUSIVE FARE: – £4.12.6. each passenger (for a party of not less than thirty persons).




  1. Third class travel tickets from London to Ypres and return.
  2. Meals en route, consisting of luncheon on June 4th and luncheon and dinner on June 6th.
  3. Hotel accommodation at Ypres, consisting of meat breakfast, table d’hote luncheon, table d’hote dinner, bedroom, lights and attendance, commencing with dinner on June 4th and terminating with breakfast on June 6th including taxes.
  4. Transfers from station to hotel and vice versa on arrival and departure in Ypres.
  5. Drives by auto-car (motor chars-a-banc) on Sunday, June 5th as specified in the itinerary.
  6. All fees and gratuities to hotel and railway servants, and to the drivers of the conveyances utilised.
  7. The services of a competent courier throughout the journey. He would supervise the general arrangements, act as interpreter, and relieve the members of all trouble as to detail.  TRAVEL TICKETS. The fare of £4.12.6. covers third class travel tickets. Members can travel in a superior class at the following supplements:First Class throughout.                   …..                  …..                  £1.18.0. each.
  8. Second class railway and first class on steamers                     £1.0.0. each.
  9. HOTEL ACCOMMODATION. Passengers booking at the fare of £4.12.6. will be accommodated at the Hotel Skindles, Ypriana, or similar establishment, at Ypres. Members desirous of staying at a better grade of house, e.g. Hotel Continental, Excelsior, or similar hotel, can do so upon payment of a supplement of….12/6 each.
  11. ————

30 March 1927 letter ref 20 Div memorial

19, St. Mary Abbots Terrace,

Kensington, W. 14.

March 30th 1927.

Telephone – Park 7934.



Dear Sir,

20th (Light) Division

Battlefield Memorial at Langemarck.


The unveiling of this memorial will take place on Whit Sunday, June 5th 1927.  Major General Sir W. Douglas Smith, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., has consented to perform the ceremony.


The Secretary of the Memorial Committee will be very glad to hear from any members of the Division or the relatives or friends (ladies or gentlemen) of those connected with it who may wish to attend.


For the convenience of those travelling to Belgium for this ceremony arrangements have been made (with Messer. Cook & Son Ltd) for a special party at an inclusive charge covering all travelling and hotel expenses. Full particulars, itinerary and application forms are enclosed.  Provisional  reservations of accommodation has already been made, but it is most important for the Secretary to hear as soon as possible from anyone wishing to join this party.  As accommodation will only be definitely reserved by the Agents on receipt of payment, applications should be accompanied by a remittance (cheques payable to Major A.G. Brace and crossed).


Should unforeseen circumstances subsequently prevent anyone from making the journey money paid will be refunded, less only a small percentage deducted for Agents expenses.


Further particulars and details of the Ceremony will be posted to those who signify their intention of attending.


Yours sincerely


Letter re 20th Div Memorial 20 March 1927





March 20th 1927

My Dear General,

Thank you for your letter also for cheque 12/6 – you have now paid up everything.


I think you will find General Caliatoy will appear from “November” at exactly 12 o’clock.  That is what the French General did at Guillemont.


I am sending you a proof of the “Form of Service”.   This has been drawn up in consultation with Barry (who is at present correcting the proof, the enclosed being a duplicate.)  I am afraid there will be no time to get any amendments from you so I hope you find it as you would wish.


We are sending “Formal Invitations” to the War Office – I.W.G.C. – Belgian attaché & any others we can think of and I am sending some dozen to the Ypres League representative to distribute to the correct local magnates.


The unveiling is at 12. We return to Ypres and all have a Luncheon together at 1.30.  I have arranged for 20 additional places for guests – The Belgian General and any of the local people who ought to be asked & whom you will ask no doubt on the spot.


I have arranged for 13 waiters that is one for each Regiment or Corps in the Division to be at Ypres and each have cards giving the various Battns of each tied with regimental colours. These will be laid at the memorial after the Service.  I am also taking out a flag to hang over the Tablet which you will remove when you “unveil”.


I will not be travelling with the party but am joining it at Ypres (having been sent off to Spain again at a moments notice).  The History will be posted to your Farnham address.


I think this is all. I am writing rather fully because I won’t be seeing you in England – Story is dealing with any emergencies from now on, his address being

Lt Col P.F. Story

26 Belsize Grove Hampstead N.W. 3.

Telephone Primrose 4676.


I think we should have a good show. 62 with the Party & some 3 or 4 others joining at Ypres.


Yours sincerely

Alan Brace.

Letter to General Sir W. Douglas-Smith dated 13 January 1927

Embossed Government notepaper.

13th January, 1927


My dear General,

I wrote to you on 20th December about your request for the Duke of Brabant to be asked to unveil the Memorial to the 20th Division at Langemarck, and undertook to make the necessary enquiries.

We now hear that H.R.H. has accumulated so many engagements during his absence from Brussels on his honeymoon that he is unable to add to them, although “he would have appreciated the honour had his time not been so fully occupied”.

In these circumstances perhaps you will consider the advisability of inviting some one connected with the Division to perform the unveiling ceremony.

If you will let us know in due course the details asked for in the last paragraph of our letter of the 28th October last we will take the necessary steps with the Foreign Office.

We will not reply officially, as I think this letter gives all the information you require to know.


Yours sincerely,

J.J.H. Nation


Major General Sir W. Douglas Smith, K.C.B., K.C.V.O.

c/o Messrs Lloyds Bank Ltd.,

Cox’s Branch

6, Pall Mall,

S.W. 1.