Ypres Salient, Flanders & The Menin Gate {Page 7}...

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 61 {0141} - This plaque at St Yvon  explains the presence of the famous cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather in this area, it is very close to Plugstreet Wood and the location of the 1914 Truce and football match.

Picture 62 {0099} - Canadian Memorial on the Passchendaele ridge. The modern village of Passchendaele can be seen in the background.

Picture 63 {0070} - Private J Condon, age 14. This is thought to be the youngest casualty of WW1 commemorated by the CWGC. He lies at peace in Poelkappelle Cemetery.

Picture 64 {0061} - Over 7,000 men lie in Poelkappelle Cemetery. This cemetery was made after the armistice when graves were brought in from surrounding battlefields.

Picture 65 {0060} - Inscription tablet at Poelkappelle Cemetery. This cemetery was designed by Charles Holden.

Picture 66 {0059} - shows the on-going fantastic work of the CWGC. This was at Poelkappelle but is typical of the sterling work the CWGC do throughout the world.

Picture 67 {0055} - Oxford Road Cemetery. Located on the outskirts of Sint Jan, the cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Picture 68 {0053} - The entrance to Oxford Road Cemetery. There are 851 commonwealth soldiers buried or commemorated here. The name Oxford Road was given to the road running behind the support trenches nearby.

Picture 69 {0051} - 50th Northumbrian Division Memorial sited close to the Oxford Road Cemetery. This division was dispatched to the Western Front in April 1915 and quickly saw action in the second battle of Ypres. It also helped smash the Hindenburg Line in October 1918. This memorial also reflects the divisions involvement in WW2.

Picture 70 {0047} - Poperinghe New Military Cemetery on the outskirts of the town. There are 677 commonwealth burials here and 271 French war graves. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. The town of Poperinge was of great importance as it was the nearest place to Ypres that could be described as reasonably safe. The cemetery was originally established in June 1915.

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...