Ypres (Menin Gate)

The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial is situated at the eastern end of Ieper on the road to Menin (Menen) and Courtrai (Kortrijk). The memorial was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick. The site of the former east gate was chosen, as the thousands of troops matching towards the Ypres battlefields would have passed through the gate.

The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial looking towards Ieper
The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial looking towards Ieper.

The memorial commemorates 54,595 personnel of Commonwealth countries, except New Zealand and British casualties after 15 August 1917, who died in the Ypres Salient area and have no known grave.

United Kingdom casualties cover the period from the start of the First World War until 15 August 1917; with some exceptions. British casualties after this date, until the end of the war, are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

New Zealand personnel are commemorated by separate memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery, Messines Ridge British Cemetery and Tyne Cot Cemetery.

The South side of the Memorial viewed from the ramparts
The South side of the Memorial viewed from the ramparts.

Each night at 8 pm the traffic is stopped at the Menin Gate while buglers of the Last Post Association sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial’s arches. For more information on the Last Post Association please check their website: www.lastpost.be.

Among the names recorded on the memorial’s panels are three soldiers who were executed:

  • Driver Thomas Moore (T4/040862). Born Stockton-on-Tees. Enlisted Darlington. Entered France & Flanders theatre of operation on 1 September 1915. Army Service Corps. On 11 February 1916, shot a soldier in his unit. Convicted of murder. Executed 26 February 1916.
  • Corporal George H Povey (10459). Entered France & Flanders theatre of operation on 18 December 1914. Cheshire Regiment. Convicted of leaving his post. Executed 11 February 1915.
  • Private William Scotton.

Among the names recorded on the memorial’s panels are eight Victoria Cross recipients:

  • Lance-Corporal Frederick Fisher, 13th Battalion, Quebec Regiment (Royal Highlanders of Canada).
  • Brigadier-General Charles FitzClarence, Irish Guards.
  • Company Sergeant Major Frederick William Hall, 8th Manitoba Regiment.
  • 2nd Lieutenant Dennis George Wyldbore Hewitt, 14th Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment.
  • Lieutenant Hugh McDonald McKenzie, Canadian Machine Gun Corps.
  • Captain John Franks Vallentin, 1st Battalion, The South Staffordshire Regiment.
  • Private Edward Warner, 1st Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment.
  • 2nd Lieutenant Sidney Woodroffe, 8th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own).

The Victoria Cross award to Brigadier-General Charles FitzClarence, The Royal Fusiliers, was for his gallantry as a Captain during the Boer War of 1899-1902.