Ieper Menin Gate, Belgium - Unveiling of the lions November 2018.
Lions stand proud again at CWGC Menin Gate
The famous Menin Gate stone lions were unveiled as they resumed guard at their former home in Ieper. The two stone lions, which each hold a shield bearing the coat-of-arms of Ieper and after 1822 stood on the old staircase leading up to the entrance of the Cloth Hall, the civic and business centre of the city, have been temporarily returned to their original home as part of the commemoration of the First World War.
In the middle of the 19th century, the lions were moved to a new position at the Menin Gate, where they stood during the First World War, while Ieper was reduced to ruins by German shells. Thousands of Allied troops, including many Australian infantry units, passed the lions on their way to the Belgian battlefields on the Western Front. Many of them were destined never to return.
The lions, broken and damaged, were later recovered from the devastation and in 1936 they were gifted by the Burgomaster of Ieper to the Government of Australia as a gesture of friendship and gratitude for the sacrifices made by the Australian nation. Since then, they have stood guard at the entrance to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, where they have been admired by visitors from all over the world.