The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing war memorial in Ypres, Belgium, is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown. The memorial is located at the eastern exit of the town and marks the starting point for one of the main roads out of the town that led Allied soldiers to the front line. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and built by the Imperial War Graves Commission (the Menin Gate Memorial was unveiled on 24 July 1927.
Though derided on its opening in 1927 by war poet Siegfried Sassoon as a ‘sepulchre to crime’ the huge war memorial of the Menin Gate holds a firm place in British hearts. Inscribed on the gate’s panels are the names of some 50,000 Allied soldiers who died defending the Ypres salient between 1914-18 and have no known grave.
Still today hundreds attend each evening at 8pm as the Ypres Fire Brigade sounds the Last Post and the evocative lines from Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’ are read.
These two books contain detailed biographies of some of the casualties whose names appear on the Memorial.