Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
History Information (Source: CWGC)
From October 1914 to October 1918, five major offensives occurred at Ypres (now Ieper) in Belgium. By the time the last shells fell in Ypres in October 1918, nearly 200,000 Commonwealth servicemen had been killed.
The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout the war.
The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields.It commemorates casualties from the forces of Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and United Kingdom who died in the Salient. In the case of United Kingdom casualties, only those prior 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions). United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. New Zealand casualties that died prior to 16 August 1917 are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery.
Building of the memorial began in 1923 and on 24 July 1927, it was unveiled by Field Marshal Lord Plumer. Veterans, relatives of those commemorated and local people attended. Dignitaries included King Albert I of Belgium and Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Commander of French forces during the war.
The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, often referred to simply as the Menin Gate, bears the names of more than 54,000 soldiers who died before 16 August 1917 and have no known grave.
· United Kingdom (40536)
· Canadian (6928)
· Australian (6179)
· South African (560)
· Indian (412)
· Army (54613)
· Miscellaneous (1)
· Navy (1)