5 months ago

CWGC - Thiepval leaflet - 2023

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THIEPVAL MEMORIAL & ANGLO-FRENCH CEMETERY The Thiepval Memorial is the largest CWGC memorial to the missing in the world. The Battle of the Somme in 1916 was one of the bloodiest battles in human history. In 141 days of fierce fighting over one million men on both sides were wounded or killed. Today the Thiepval Memorial stands as a testament to those lives cut short and is a must-see for everyone visiting the Somme. THE MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING THE MISSING OF THE SOMME The fighting devastated Northern France, creating a churned-up wasteland of mud and shattered trees. Tens of thousands of people were unaccounted for: they lay undiscovered, their graves were unrecorded or their remains could not be identified. They became known as ‘The Missing’. In the aftermath of the war, Britain faced the challenge of how to honour all these individuals. THE MEMORIAL Construction began in 1928 and took four years to complete. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens (who also designed the Cenotaph in London), the towering structure stand 45 meters high and takes the form of a series of interlocking arches. The names of the missing are inscribed on the sixteen ground level supporting piers of the memorial. Wreathed in laurels above the name panels are the names of many of the important battles that were fought on the Somme during the First World War. THE CEMETERY On the west side of the memorial you will see the Anglo-French Cemetery containing 600 Commonwealth and French graves. Many of the CWGC graves bear the inscription “A Soldier of the Great War, Known Unto God”, while the French crosses simply state “inconnu” – “unknown”. IWM Q4248

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