LONGUEVAL, France (AP) — Britain's Prince Charles and other dignitaries are honoring thousands of soldiers from New Zealand and other Pacific islands killed in World War I.
A moving ceremony at dawn Thursday began a day of commemorations in the northern French region of the Somme, whose forests and villages became battlefields for months in 1916.
Some 2,000 soldiers in the New Zealand division were killed in the Battle of the Somme, one of history's bloodiest battles. Most have no known grave, and their names are inscribed on a memorial in Longueval.
In a sign of the importance of the ceremony, the Prince of Wales will lay a wreath at the New Zealand Battlefield Memorial and join a service at Caterpillar Valley Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Longueval.