The Menin Gate

The Menin Gate in IeperThe dead of the Great War have their most affecting memorial, not in a monument but in a continuing, living gesture of respect at the Menin Gate

The Menin Gate was one of the medieval gates of the Flanders cloth town of Ypres/Ieper. The site of the gate was marked by stone lions between which the thousands of Commonwealth soldiers passed up the road to the front line of the Ypres Salient. The Ypres Memorial, an actual stone gate, was raised at this spot in 1927. The inside is lined with the names of those who died in this sector with no known graves – British and Irish, Indians, Canadians, Australians, South Africans. Their real memorial occurs each evening at 20.00 hours; the road beneath the gate is closed, a detachment of the Ypres Fire Brigade marches to the gate – as every day since 1929, except 1940-44 – to sound the Last Post. A tribute in perpetuity to those who came from far away to redeem at the greatest price the pledge made by their country at the birth of Belgium that it would remain in neutrality and at liberty.

Clarence Rickards
© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 30th August 2004