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

It was decided, after full consideration, that the names of these 90,000 dead should appear on four Memorials. The names from all the overseas Dominion forces except those of New Zealand and Newfoundland, and the names from the Corps and Regiments of the United Kingdom of those who fell before a certain date, will appear on the Menin Gate. The names from the forces of the United Kingdom after that date, with those of certain New Zealand dead, will appear on a Memorial in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele. The remaining New Zealand names will appear on two other Memorials. A division of the names between several sites was found to be desirable as well as inevitable. The Menin Gate was a natural site for selection hundreds of thousands o f men passed through it to the battlefields of the Ypres Salient, and it represents the deliberate obstinacy with which the British Empire, from 1914 to 1918, refused to surrender a few square miles of Belgian soil. On the other hand there was available at Tyne Cot a large cemetery on the highest part of the West Flanders battlefield, on the site of a German fort, and close to the furthest point reached by British arms in Belgium until nearly the end of the War. It was there­fore historically fitting that Tyne Cot should be one of the sites for the Memorials, and that a date in the summer of 1917, when the advance to Passchendaele was in progress, should be chosen to divide the British names between Ypres and Passchendaele. The date chosen was the night of the I5th-i6th August, when the Battle of Langemarck began. 3. THE YPRES SALIENT. These four Memorials in Belgian Flanders cover the whole period of the War, except the months of August and September, 1914 and they serve the area from Langemarck in the North to the Northern edge o f Ploegsteert Wood, which (in its widest sense) is the Ypres Salient. The term has no exact geographical significance. It varied from year to year, as the map on page 15 and later paragraphs of this Introduction will show but it has in the history of the War the significance of along series of fierce attacks and defences, with Calais and Boulogne as their bases on the British side and the whole mastery of Belgian soil as their objective. 4. THE MENIN GATE. O f the four Memorials, the Menin Gate alone is placed in a setting whose history goes back many centuries before the Great War. Ypres is one of the old towns of Flanders, and eight centuries ago it was the greatest of them. It decayed
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