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The young tank commander seen running in flames along the road was left recognisable to his comrades only by the pips on his shoulder and the white and purple ribbon of the Military Cross on his chest. Robert Boscawen survived the devastating burns from the attack by a hidden battery of four 105 mm flak guns of the German 7 Para on Easter Day, 1 April 1945, that ignited the petrol in his Sherman Firefly as it rushed a bridge on the Twente Canal at Enschede on the Dutch-German border. The debt he felt the world owed to all those who, like two of his crewmen, had lost their lives, was to inform his future political career.

Pandora: 'Life in Brussels is just dandy', insists Gavin Hewitt

Just months into his new plum post as the BBC's Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt insists he's been the innocent victim of a mischievous whispering campaign.

Britain's plan to cut deficit inadequate, says Brussels

Double blow for Brown as polls suggest Conservatives' lead is growing

Full Brussels Eurostar service from Monday

Full London to Brussels services run by Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar will resume on Monday March 1, it was announced today.

Head-on train crash in Belgium kills at least 12

Two commuter trains collided head-on today after one ran a stop light at rush hour in a Brussels suburb, killing at least 12 people and injuring 55, a Belgian official said. Other officials said the death toll was higher.

Brussels row over 3.7% EU salary rises

A row has broken out in Brussels over plans to raise the salaries of tens of thousands of EU staff at a time of deep economic crisis and public sector wage cuts across Europe.

'We need to learn the financial lessons,' says Barnier

John Lichfield hears from Michel Barnier about his role as the EU's economic supremo

Who said the special relationship was dead?

George W. Bush and Tony Blair were "shoulder to shoulder" – but with David Miliband and Hillary Clinton, it is more a case of "eye to eye", as the world can see from these pictures taken yesterday as Nato foreign ministers convened in Brussels.

Christmas decorations can seriously damage your health, Brussels warns

Investigation reveals that 30 per cent of lighting sets could cause shocks or fires

Ruck and Maul: O'Driscoll still feeling hungry as big round figure approaches

The magnificent Brian O'Driscoll will win his 100th Test cap when he captains Ireland in their opening autumn international against Australia at Croke Park today: the reigning Grand Slam champions hosting the Wallabies, who are on the second leg of their own Slam hunt after defeating England 18-9 at Twickenham. "Australia are a very smart team, the smartest in world rugby," said O'Driscoll. "They think about how to break down defences, they're able to adapt on the pitch, changing from Plan A if they need to. That makes them dangerous, but also a great challenge. I have great hunger for the game at the moment and hopefully we'll pick up where we left off in March." Australia have lost twice on their last three visits to Dublin, which is but one example of the men in green's resurgence, while O'Driscoll – who made his debut in 1999 and has a respectable record of 39 wins in 56 matches as captain – has been around. "Keith Wood was the last Irish captain I played under and that feels like an eternity ago," he said. As he becomes rugby's 11th Test centurion, the 30-year-old centre has indicated his intention to play until the next World Cup in 2011 at least, but he would have to go on beyond that to reach former Australia scrum-half George Gregan's record of 139 caps. Second-placed Jason Leonard is a more feasible target on 119. Those queueing up behind O'Driscoll in the 90s include John Hayes and Ronan O'Gara (Ireland), Martyn Williams (Wales), Chris Paterson (Scotland) and South Africa's John Smit.

Leading article: Forked-tongued Tories

The ability to execute an elegant U-turn is an essential part of the politician's repertoire. And David Cameron was masterly in explaining why he was now going back on what many had believed was his firm promise to submit the Lisbon Treaty to a referendum.

Could it be Miliband – and not Blair – for Europe?

World Focus: The EU

Brussels studies bank bonuses and state aid

European regulators are to take a closer look at bonuses paid to executives at state-aided banks.

Mark Hanson: Hannan's Willie Horton moment

I can't work out what Daniel Hannan is up to. He's made a series of outbursts in recent months; starting with his rant at Gordon Brown in Brussels that became a YouTube favourite and lately he's been touring the right wing radio and TV circuit in the US having a go at the NHS.

Pilot dies at controls on flight to US

A pilot on a Continental Airlines flight from Brussels to Newark died in mid-flight yesterday, but its 247 passengers landed safely in New Jersey under the control of two co-pilots.

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