Monuments & Memorials on the Ypres Salient, Belgium

Monuments on the Ypres Salient battlefields.

There are many monuments and memorials on the Ypres Salient battlefields. They range in size from official monuments commemorating thousands of people missing in action and who have no known grave to private memorials dedicated to individuals or to military units. Some are simply places or scars on the landscape from the battles which have been preserved on the old battlefields. Some have been put up to mark a particular event.

This page lists and locates the monuments to be found on the Ypres Salient battlefields.

Memorials to the Missing of WW1

One of the most famous memorials on the WW1 battlefields of the Western Front is the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres.
The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, Ypres, Belgium.

In the Ypres Salient battlefields there are approximately 90,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers whose remains cannot be identified for burial in a grave marked with their name. Similarly, there are also believed to be about 90,000 German soldiers whose unidentified remains have also never been found in Flanders. There were many French soldiers found on the battlefields whose remains could not be identified.

For the 90,000 missing British Forces there are four memorials in the Ypres Salient battlefields which cover the whole period of the First World War, except the months of August and September 1914:

The Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing south of Messines is technically outside the sector known as the Ypres Salient, and commemorates the missing of the Lys battlefield sector. Its proximity to Ypres means that many visitors to the Ypres Salient include it in a visit to the area.

Names of missing German soldiers are inscribed on oak panels and bronze tablets at Langemark German cemetery and French soldiers are commemorated in ossuaries.

List and Locations of Monuments & Memorials

In the list below click Click icon to show place on the map to show the place on the map or Click on the icon to expand details for the monument to expand the details.

Related Topics

Photograph by a German soldier of trenches in captured French territory on the Ypres Salient battlefield to the north of Ypres. There is a battlefield burial in the photograph with a cross with no name and only “Français” (French) written on it.(1)
French grave in captured French trenches on the Ypres Salient battlefield.

War Graves on the Western Front

Read our article providing background to the burial of military dead from the 1914-1918 war and why so many of the casualties were missing in action or battlefield burials were later lost and, therefore, they are still recorded as “Missing”:

War Graves for WW1 Dead on The Western Front

Cemeteries in the Ypres Salient

There are over 100 military cemeteries in the Ypres Salient where many thousands of Allied and German servicemen are buried. Visitors to the cemeteries will often find graves for which the remains of a casualty are unidentified. Although the casualty cannot be identified at his place of burial, there will likely be a place of commemoration on a special memorial in a cemetery or on one of the official memorials to the missing.

Cemeteries in the Ypres Salient

Battles of the Ypres Salient

Map showing the British and German Armies in action to hold the high ground in October 1914, leading to the formation of the Ypres Salient.

For an overview of the 1914-1918 battles fought in the Ypres Salient see our page at:

Battles of the Ypres Salient

Acknowledgements

(1) Photographs courtesy of the late Bridgeen Fox (Private Collection)