Memorial Register 29-30, Introduction to the Registers of The Ypres (Menin Gate) and Tyne Cot Memorials, Belgium

THE YPRES (MENIN GATE) AND TYNE COT MEMORIALS. i. THE MEMORIALS. I N all the theatres of the Great War, fortune dealt unequally between man and man in this :to one it agave place of burial, known and marked from the day of his death, or discovered later by search or accident, while to others it denied this honour, and to their kin this consolation. The Armies of the contending nations (and first among them the Armies of the Empire) originated and developed, as the War proceeded, military organisations for ensuring as far as possible the burial of their dead, so that their graves might be permanently preserved but even intrench warfare and in successful attack these tasks could not always be completed, and in times of retreat they often could not be attempted. The exchange of information on this subject between the enemy Powers did something, though comparatively little, to supply the lost details. The Imperial War Graves Commission has been faced with the fact that a considerable proportion of the soldiers of the Empire who fell in the Great War have no known graves. It was recognised from the beginning that to mark the graves and to leave uncommemorated even one of the dead would abe failure in duty and it was therefore decided to record, not only on paper but also in stone or bronze, the names of those who lay buried in unidentified graves, or under the battlefields or the sea. Monuments have been, or will be, erected, differing in size and design according to the numbers involved and the places chosen, but alike in that each is inscribed with some of those names which do not appear on headstones. 2. THE MEMORIALS IN FLANDERS. The three areas in which this problem called most urgently for action were Belgian Flanders, the Somme battlefield, and Iraq and the Menin Gate is one of the monuments in Flanders designed to meet it. From Langemarck to Messines, and from Poperinghe to Dadizeele, there are 137 cemeteries containing the dead of the Empire and in those cemeteries there are the graves of 40,000 unidentified soldiers. These, and 50,000 others whose graves are not even to that extent known or marked, are the officers and men commemorated on the Memorials in Belgium and in the Registers of those Memorials.
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