July Last Post

The Belgian Defence Attaché, Capt Renaud Flamant joined us for what would be one of his final engagements before a new Defence Attaché takes up the post in August. Capt. Flamant attended the 80th Anniversary ceremony in 2021 and we are honoured by his support.

We remembered Belgian SOE agent Lieutenant Henri Hubert Gaillot. Born 20 April 1896 in Liège, Belgium. He served in the Belgian Army during the First World war and was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre, Médaille Militaire and the Ordre de Léopold. With his friend François Vallée, he first came into contact with Britain’s SOE during subversive work in Tunisa during 1941. Later he made it to Britain and still with Vallée, he joined the F (French) Section SOE in February 1943. To protect his wife still living in France, he was trained as Lieutenant Henri Guillaume.

Gaillot, spent six months in France between June and December 1943 on sabotage missions before being recalled to Britain. As Gaillot, along with Vallée and his brother were leaving for Britain, they were arrested and believed to have been deported to Rawitsch prison in April 1944. Sometime in the summer, they were executed by firing squad and cremated. Gaillot is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial, panel 22, column 1.

Our poem was ‘The Belgian Flag’, written by the Belgian author and First World Was poet Émile Cammaerts.

Capt. Flamant laid a wreath on behalf of the Belgian Embassy.

Alan Lopez was a Standard Bearer with Tom Milne carrying the Union Flag. Standards from the Royal British Legion, Woking Royal Naval Association and the Artists Rifles were on parade. Ruth Moore sounded the Last Post and Rob Bennett officiated.

After spending time at the Belgian Plot, we retired to the Trench Experience for refreshments.

Thank you to Paul McCue for the text for the Individual Remembrance and Tony McCallum for the photographs.