An original First World War sandbag has been filled with soil from Bovington's Armour Centre so that it can be scattered at the Tank Corps memorial in Belgium on Armistice Day.

A Terrier vehicle was used for the first dig to begin the poignant ceremony, after which representatives of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient (TMYS) organisation, serving soldiers and veteran associations gathered to retrieve 'sacred soil'.

The collected soil will be taken to Belgium to mark 100 years since the end of fighting on the Western Front on November 11, 1918.

Garrison Sergeant Major WO1 Steven Chart and Trooper Rhys Young were asked to represent the Armour Centre by filling a sandbag from the Great War with soil excavated from Bovington that will later be mixed with Portland stone dust from the site where London's Cenotaph, World War One and World War Two Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) headstones were quarried.

Chairman of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient Chris Lock thanked all those who made the occasion possible and reminded the attendees of the many sacrifices made and the lives that were lost at the Bovington training ground long before armoured vehicles were sent to Europe.

One of the Standard Bearers for the ceremony is David Larcombe, formerly Regimental Sergeant Major of the 2nd Tanks who then went on to become a Captain in the Regiment.

Now retired, he is a member of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient and keen that sacrifices made in the past should always be remembered.

"I went to the Menin Gate during the Cambrai 100 celebrations so I've seen where this soil is actually going to go.

"We placed wreaths on the memorial. We all trained here. Many of the people that died trained here..."

On Armistice Day a serving Belgian Army Artillery unit 'Lynx' light vehicle accompanied by standard bearers from the TMYS and the Tank Corps, will attend the Menin Gate Memorial Last Post.

Afterwards, the soil will be transported under escort to arrive at the TMYS memorial, where it will be scattered in a separate ceremony.

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