Menin Gate - History and Facts | History Hit

Menin Gate

Ypres, Flanders, Belgium

Menin Gate is a world famous memorial to missing soldiers from World War One.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020

About Menin Gate

Menin Gate (Menenpoort) is an impressive gateway in Ypres, Belguim which commemorates those British and Commonwealth soldiers who went missing in action in Belgium during World War One.

Menin Gate history

Ypres, now known by its Flemish name of Ieper, was a vital strategic point during the war and the site of fierce fighting, including three main battles together known as The Battle of Ypres. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers perished or went missing during this period and Menin Gate bears the names of 54,896 missing British and Commonwealth soldiers who died without graves.

The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in the area known as the Ypres Salient and was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick and is now maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Construction began in 1923 and the structure was unveiled by Field Marshal Lord Plumer on the 24th July 1927.

Built from concrete, the memorial is faced with Euville stone and red bricks and is decorated with wreaths and garlands while a lion, which is the symbol of the City of Ieper rests on top. The sides of the monument incorporate two Loggia, galleries which are open to one side and support by columns.

The monument was heavily damaged during fighting in World War Two and was restored between 1945 and 1948. The restoration work was overseen by Reginald Blomfield’s son Austin.

Menin Gate today

Menin Gate is one of the most important First World War sites in Ypres and has a daily memorial ceremony at 8pm known as the Last Post Ceremony.

At 8 p.m. every evening, volunteer buglers from the fire brigade assemble under the Menin Gate to sound the “Last Post” in tribute of those who fell, so the city may live. Since the first ceremony on the 3rd of July, 1928, the only time the ceremony was not held was during German occupation in World War Two, when the ceremony was temporarily moved to Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England. In fact, the very evening the city was liberated, despite heavy fighting still occurring in other parts of the city, the ceremony was brought back to its proper place.

Getting to Menin Gate

Ypres (now Ieper) is a town in the Province of West Flanders. The Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town on the road to Menin (Menen) and Courtrai (Kortrijk).

The nearest station is Ieper (IC and P lines) and the Menin Gate is a 15-minute walk through the town. Alternatively, visitors can take bus 1 from the station to Ieper Markt, the gate is less than five-minutes walk from there.

Paid parking is available in the market square which is a short walk from the gate or for free at Ieper railway station.

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