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Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

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  • Ypres
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  • Belgium
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  • Mobbs
  • Northampton
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THE MISSING OF YPRES

THE MISSING OF YPRES More than 200,000 British and Empire service personnel died in Belgium during the First World War. Half have no known grave: they lay undiscovered; their graves went unrecorded or their remains could not be identified. They are known as ‘The Missing’. In the aftermath of the war, Britain faced the challenge of how to honour these individuals. Across Belgium memorials were built to commemorate them all by name. By far the largest in Belgium, the Menin Gate bears the names of more than 54,000 British and Empire servicemen. 1 4 5 THE MENIN GATE The Menin Gate Memorial is perhaps the most famous war memorial in the world. During the First World War thousands of soldiers marched through the original gate to fight in the notorious Ypres Salient. Many never returned. Construction began in 1923 and took five years to complete. Visitors enter through a triumphal arch, inscribed in Latin, ‘For Country’ and ‘For King’. The names of the missing are inscribed on stone panels inside the memorial. The memorial was unveiled on 24 July 1927. 6,000 people attended and the ceremony was one of the first live outdoor international broadcasts by the BBC. Since the unveiling, the memorial has been a place of pilgrimage and remembrance. Every evening since 1928 the Last Post has been sounded at 8pm beneath the gate. Only during the Second World War was this remarkable tribute to the men who fought and died at Ypres interrupted. 2 6 1 2 3 4 Triumphal Arch Hall of Names: lists over 54,000 names of the missing The Lion: a symbol of both Britain and Flanders ‘Pro Patria’ and ‘Pro Rege:’ the Latin phrases ‘For Country’ and ‘For King’ either side of the Arch 5 Memorial Inscription: written by Rudyard Kipling, Literary Advisor to the Commission 6 Sarcophagus: a tomb that symbolises the dead 3 7 7 Wreaths: featuring hand-carved laurel and oak leaves symbolising victory and endurance Unveiling of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, 1927

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