Ypres Salient, Flanders & The Menin Gate {Page 2}...

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.

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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....

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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.

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The images below are:

Picture 11 {1720} - Ypres Ramparts Cemetery. This Cross of Sacrifice was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. It is a standard architectural feature of any CWGC cemetery that contains motre than 40 burials.

Picture 12 {0137} - The site of the 1914 Christmas truce football match St Yvon near Ploegstreet. Bruce Bairnsfather the famous cartoonist wrote the first installments of Fragments from France/Old Bill in a dug out near this spot. See Picture 21 {0027} for the new stone memorial to this event.

Picture 13 {0129} - Ploegstreet Wood Cemetery. Much fighting took place throughout WW1 in this area. Amongst those who squelched in the mud in this area was one Bruce Bairnsfather.

Picture 14 {0122} - Essex Farm Cemetery. Here lies amongst many others one Private Strudwick age 15. He was one of the youngest casualties of the Salient.

Picture 15 {0108} - Restored dug outs at Essex Farm Cemetery.

Picture 16 {0106} - Memorial to John McCrae who wrote "In Flanders fields". This tablet is located at the entrance to Essex Farm Cemetery.

Picture 17 {0099} - Canadian Memorial on the rise of Crest Farm. This memorial marks the capture of the Passchendaele Ridge.

Picture 18 {0094} - Entrance to Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Picture 19 {0082} - Demarcation stone at the junction where the Zillebeke to Potize road crosses The Menin Road. This was a notorious landmark and was once called the hottest place on earth... Refered to as Hell Fire Corner. The stone marks the limit of the German advance in 1918.

Picture 20 {0047} - Spanbroekmolen or Lone Tree Crater. This was the site of one of the 19 mines laid along the Messines Ridge and this and 18 others were blown up on 7th June 1917. 21 mines in total were laid and in 1955 one of these 2 unexploded mines exploded following a lightning strike [17th July 1955], and the other to this day remains unexploded. It is said the explosion of those 19 mines on the Messines Ridge rattled the china in Downing Street. the Spanbroekmolen crater had a charge of 91,000 lbs of T-Ammonal set at a depth of 26m. The result was a crater 129m in diameter and 27m deep. This is known as The Pool of Peace and is owned and cared for by the Toc H organisation. These 19 mines exploding simultaneously are the biggest non-nuclear claim of lives in history killing 10,000 Germans in the attack.

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...