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Ypres and the most famous memorial on the Western Front, The Menin Gate

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The 1st Battle of Ypres, World War One on the 19th October 1914

Première Bataille des Flandres, Erste Flandernschlacht Ypres

The First World War, the war to end all wars, was fought on a monumental scale, in terms of people and materials in many theatres of war. Some of the biggest battles on the western front in Europe 100 years on remains firmly fixed in the countries lexicon. Ypres, The Somme, Verdun, Passchendaele is undeniably linked to the battles that fought in these areas along the Belgium, French, German borders.

Old 1915 Map of Ypres

Ypres and the most famous memorial on the Western Front, The Menin Gate 1
The Great War H.G Wilson

How do you pronounce Ypres?

The correct pronunciation of Ypres is spoken phonetically as ‘ee-p-r-eh-s’. The British ‘Tommies’ during the war were more inclined to pronounce Ypres phonetically as ‘Wipers.

What is the Ypres Salient?

Ypres Salient refers to the area around Ypres in Belgium, the area where the biggest and costly battles of the Great War. The word Salient in a military language is a battlefield where the enemy is on multiple sides. For soldiers in the middle of the salient would be in a vulnerable position. Salient can also be referred to as the bulge.

In and around Ypres there were 5 major battles, 1st, 2nd and 3rd battles of Ypres – the 3rd battle more commonly referred to as Paschendale, and the 4th and 5th battles of Ypres taking place in 1918 during the closing phase of the war.

Who fort in the 1st Battle of Ypres?

The battle was fort between the Belgium, French and British armies. on one side and the German Army on the opposing side on the Western Front around Ypres. The battle lasted just over a month finished on November the 22nd. It was a moment which marked the end of the war of movement, both sides settled and entrenched with an elaborate trench network that stretched from Switzerland to the  North Sea

The most famous WW1 memorial on the Western Front, The Menin Gate

The Menin Gate records the names of Soldiers who have no known grave. The Gate is on the eastern approaches to the town, toward the Front Lines and the fighting and it is said, soldiers, some who never returned would have headed out in this direction.

The Gate was designed by the British Architect Sir Reginald Blomfield (1856-1942) with sculpture work by Sir William Reid Dick (1879-1961).

Every night since 1928, at 8pm, the local fire brigade play the Last Post at the Menin Gate

At precisely 8 pm, traffic stops around the gate and the ‘Last Post’ is sounded by the Menin Gate by the local Fire Brigade in honour of the memory of British Empire soldiers. There was a brief pause during World War 2 when the town was occupied by the Germans.

Where is the town of Ypres Today?

After the war, the town of Ypres had to be virtually rebuilt. This was part of the rebuilding of European population centres the war had impacted that. The City today has the title of ‘City of Peace’ and is twinned with the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Both cities will always be known just by the reference of their names to the historical wars they became part of.

Ypres (official Flemish name Leper) is in the province of West Flanders

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