The soil has been collected by 1000 school children from the cemeteries of First World War battlefields in Flanders, where so many millions had died in bloody conflict. The soil is being brought back to Britain in a unique two-day event in London which, amidst much ceremony, will see the soil added as a focal point to a new Flanders Fields Memorial Garden in Wellington Barracks. This garden is being created to mark the Centenary of the First World War.
The soil will arrive in London on the Belgian Navy frigate Louise Marie on Friday 29 November, mooring alongside HMS Belfast in the Pool of London.
On Saturday 30 November starting at HMS Belfast there will be a procession through Central London by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and escorted by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and outriders of Metropolitan Police Service carrying the soil to the memorial garden at Wellington Barracks.
At 9.40am the soil will be piped off HMS Belfast and placed on a gun carriage.
The Mayor of Southwark Cllr Abdul Mohamed will watch the procession from a dais outside the council offices at 160 Tooley Street.
Cllr Mohamed said: "The landing of the sacred soil from Flanders in Southwark will be a very poignant moment for all of us.
"Given that so many left from the borough to serve at the Western Front, and so few returned, we are proud to be among the first to mark its arrival on English soil."
Once it has left Southwark, the procession continues to Wellington Barracks via Tower Hill, Great Tower Street, Cannon Street, Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, Strand, Trafalgar Square, Northumberland Avenue, Whitehall Place, Whitehall Court, Horse Guards Avenue, Horse Guards Parade, Horse Guards Road and The Mall.
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