Ypres Salient, Flanders & The Menin Gate...

This area of Belgium is known as Flemish Flanders and Ypres (Leper) is the principal city. The Ypres Salient was formed by the Allied countries to halt and protect Germany’s advance towards the ports of Calais and Boulogne (the Race for the Sea); this resulted in the First Battle of Ypres in 1914 – 19th October to 22nd November.

The following key battles after this were:
  • The Second Battle of Ypres – 22nd April to 15th May 1915
  • Passchendaele – 31st July to 6th November 1917
  • Battle of the Lys (Fourth Battle of Ypres) – 9th April to 29th April 1918
  • The Fifth Battle of Ypres – 28th September to 2nd October 1918
It must also be noted that on top of the five main conflicts of the Salient, constant battles, offensives, exchanges and skirmishes took place in the region during the whole of the Great War. Key and infamous names and locations from this area include Messines, Wytschaete, Polygon Wood, Hill 60, Langemarck, the Lys, Sanctuary Wood, Ploegsteert Wood and Passchendaele to name but a few.

Over 1,700,000 soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded in this region of Belgium during the War years not to mention the uncounted numbers of civilians.

The City of Ypres was constantly shelled by the Germans during the whole of the war but was never taken. Nowadays it is fully restored and is resplendent with its cathedral and stunning Cloth Hall.

Flanders is now the resting place for many a soldier and is the home of numerous CWGC cemeteries and superb memorials including:

Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium is the largest Commonwealth Military Cemetery in the world and the resting place for 11,956.
The Menin Gate which is dedicated to the 54,896 missing service personnel of WWI, for those who laid down their life in Ypres Salient Battlefields and whom were laid to rest in unknown graves.
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row" - John McCrae.

......... o O o .........

If you need Military Bands or Assistance with Honouring Veterans - Please contact your local Royal British Legion. If sadly this is for a Military Funeral or Honouring Veterans at their Funeral, the best contact points are here.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has the responsibility to ensure that 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten. They care for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations, in 153 countries. The CWGC values and aims, laid out in 1917, are as relevant now as they were over a 100 years ago....

......... o O o .........

We have added a number of further pages and Picture Galleries to our website for you of The National Memorial Arboretum, the Ypres Salient, Flanders & The Menin Gate, Nord Pas de Calais, Somme, Vimy Ridge, Verdun and World War 1 Main Page and seven underpinning pages.

......... o O o .........

The images below are:

Picture 1 {4423} - Ypres town dominated by the magnificently rebuilt Cloth Hall framed by the archway of the Menin Gate.

Picture 2 {4420} - Buglers of the Ypres Fire Brigade. The Last Post ceremony has been played on every day since 11th November 1929, with the exception of the period 20th May 1940 till 6th September 1944 during Nazi occupation. See also Picture 37 {0090}.

Picture 3 {1729} - A poignant inscription on the walls inside The Menin Gate which requires no further explanation.

Picture 4 {0117} - Poppy growing at the side of the restored dugouts at Essex Farm Cemetery near Ypres, where John McCrae wrote "In Flanders Fields".

Picture 5 {0096} - Tyne Cot Cemetery. This is the largest military commonwealth cemetery in the world. The Cross of Sacrifice is mounted on a former German pill box. The memorial to the missing contains the names of 33,785 personnel plus a further 1,176 New Zealanders in addition to the 54,896 names on The Menin Gate.

Picture 6 {0095} - Tyne Cot Cemetery. The name Tyne Cot is believed to come from the Northumberland Fusiliers seeing a resemblance between the German concrete pill boxes which still stand in the middle of the Cemetery, and typical Tyne workers cottages - Tyne Cots. The Cemetery lies on a broad rise which overlooks the surrounding countryside making it strategically important to both sides. Tyne Cot is located very close to Passchendaele.

Picture 7 {0084} - Tyne Cot Cemetery. Tyne Cot was assigned to the UK by King Albert I of Belgium in recognition of the sacrifice made by the British Empire. The Cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker. The Memorial to The Missing was unveiled on 20th June 1927 by Sir Gilbert Dyett.

Picture 8 {0022} - This single headstone is in the Ramparts Cemetery in Ypres and is a typical example of the many thousands bearing such an inscription throughout the Western Front.

Picture 9 {0014} - The Menin Gate, Ypres from outside the city wall.

Picture 10 {0010} - The Menin Gate, Ypres. This was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1921 and was inaugurated by Field Marshal Plumer on 24th July 1927. The panels within the archways bear the names of 54,896 allied soldiers whose grave is known only to God.

These images are kindly provided by Ian Humphreys, RBL, and are his Copyright. You may click on the thumb nail images for the original - these are high res images and may not be used for commercial purposes without full written consent from Mr Humphreys. Each image is 3264 x 2448 pixels or 3008 x 2000 pixels and are several MB in size..

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AREA17:  So that we may all remember those that served, those injured and those that fell for the peace and security of all...