Messines Ridge British Cemetery and NZ Memorial
History Information (Source: CWGC)
The Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial to the Missing
The Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial stands within Messines Ridge British Cemetery and commemorates over 800 soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who died in or near Messines in 1917 and 1918 and who have no known grave. This is one of seven memorials in France and Belgium to those New Zealand soldiers who died on the Western Front and whose graves are not known. The memorials are all in cemeteries chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the men died.
· New Zealand (828)
· Army (828)
Messines Ridge British Cemetery
In which this memorial stands, occupies ground that belonged to the 'Institution Royale'. It was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefield around Messines and from a number of small burial grounds in the area. The dates of death of those buried here range from October 1914 to October 1918, but the majority died in the fighting of 1917.
There are now 1,534 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 957 of the burials are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate a number of casualties known or believed to be buried among them, or who were buried in other cemeteries where their graves were destroyed by shell fire. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Charles Holden.
· United Kingdom (297)
· Australian (204)
· New Zealand (67)
· South African (10)
· Canadian (1)
· Army (578)
· Air Force (1)