Just weeks after the All Blacks Rugby World Cup victory, a Belgian family has paid tribute to a fallen soldier and former All Black Dave Gallaher, laying a wreath of flowers on his grave.
Patrick Bouwen said he told Gallagher he would be proud of what his All Blacks successors achieved this year, so close to where he died from a wound he received in a 1917 battle.
"We still are so grateful and proud of what he and all these other fine young New Zealanders sacrificed in order to secure the freedom and safety of our great grandparents," Mr Bouwens said.
Mr Bouwen and his wife Lidija visited Gallagher at Nine Elms Cemetery in Poperinge on November 11, at 11am - the day Belgians commemorate the end of the First World War.
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The player had captained the All Black Originals on their celebrated 1905-06 tour of Britain, France and North America.
"We decided today to pay tribute to all those hundred thousands young people who came from all over the world in order to fight and unfortunately die for our freedom," Mr Bouwens said.
"We decided to buy nice flowers and to put them on the grave of the very first and famous captain of the Original All Blacks, Davy Gallaher, who died in 1917 in our Flanders Fields in a little place close to Ypres."
Mr Bouwen said since his daughter's honeymoon in New Zealand, his "little family" fell in love with the country and the All Blacks.
The family even went to Cardiff to watch the team play Georgia during the Rugby World Cup, and followed them through to the final against the Wallabies at Twickenham.
According to New Zealand History, Sergeant Dave Gallaher was wounded during an attack on Gravenstafel Spur, in the west of the country, on October 4, 1917.
He died a few hours later and was buried at Nine Elms Cemetery, Poperinge.