After travelling 1200 miles to attend the unveiling of the new British War Memorial at Medjez-el-Bab, 150 relatives of men killed in the Tunisian campaign had to return to London disappointed.
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Background: After travelling 1200 miles to attend the unveiling of the new British War Memorial at Medjez-el-Bab, 150 relatives of men killed in the Tunisian campaign had to return to London disappointed.
As they were flying home the unveiling ceremony took place. Torrential rain and flooding caused the postponement from Saturday, the day originally set for the ceremony.
Today the unveiling ceremony began in bright sunshine. General Sir Kenneth Anderson, Commander of the 1st Army during the campaign, unveiled the memorial. He referred in his address to the absence of the relatives as "most distressing".
Some of the senior officers who attended the ceremony were civilian clothes - their dress uniforms were damaged when they had to wade through deep water in the floods on Saturday.
The party of relatives were told by Major J.T. Spinks, chairman of the British Legion, and Mr J.H.Griffin, the general secretary, who came with them, that the Legion hoped to be able to fly them out again, free of charge, probably in the spring. A special memorial service will then be held.
The ceremony today was attended by the representative of President Bourguiba, General Croker representing the Minister of War, the Governor of Beja, M. Malcolm the British Ambassador, M. Hedi Ben Mustapha, Director of Protocol.