This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The unique 2-day event in London will see the soil, held in 70 sandbags, taken across the capital and added as a focal point to a new Flanders Fields Memorial Garden.
The garden, based at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk, is being specially created to mark the centenary of the First World War in 2014.
During the course of the summer 1,000 schoolchildren from Belgium and Britain filled sandbags with soil from each of the 70 First World War Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries and battlefields in Flanders.
In a ceremony on Armistice Day, under the arch of the Menin Gate (which commemorates all those British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the First World War with no known grave), the sandbags were then loaded onto a First World War era gun carriage to begin a journey those who died on Flanders Fields were never able to make.
Yesterday the soil arrived in London on the Belgian Navy frigate Louise-Marie. The ship passed under Tower Bridge, raised fully for the occasion, and moored alongside HMS Belfast on the Thames.
The central circular bed of the garden will hold the ‘sacred soil’ that carries the memories of the millions who died, and will have the words of John McCrae’s famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ inscribed upon it.
The garden will be opened officially following the London Cenotaph ceremony on 9 November 2014.