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Map showing the military burial sites and memorials  to the missing in the area around Ieper (Ypres)

British Military Cemeteries and Memorials in the Ypres Salient

137 of the 618 Commonwealth War Grave Commission burial grounds for British military dead in Belgium are located in the First World War battlefields of the Ypres Salient in Belgian Flanders. With the city of Ypres at its centre the area of the Salient has four towns on its circumference: Poperinge in the west, Langemark in the north, Becelare in the east and Mesen (Messines) in the south.

Cemeteries featured on this website:

Essex Farm Military Cemetery (© Farm Military Cemetery

Tyne Cot Cemetery (© Cot Cemetery

Graves of Unknown Soldiers

Grave of a British soldier 'Known unto God' (© 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.

Within the 137 burial grounds in the Ypres Salient there are 40,000 headstones which are marked with the words 'Known unto God'. These headstones mark the resting place for the remains of a soldier whose identity could not be established except that he could be identified as British.

Four Memorials to the Missing

Royal British Legion Standards on parade in front of a few of the 54,896 names of the missing on The Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper (Ypres). (© addition to the 40,000 unidentified bodies there are 50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers whose remains were never found during or after the First World War. These 50,000 officers and men listed as 'missing in action' are commemorated by name on four memorials in Belgium.

These four memorials cover the whole period of the First World War, except the months of August and September 1914. They serve the whole area of the First World War battlefields of the Ypres Salient, stretching from Langemark on the northern edge of the Ypres Salient to four kilometres south of Mesen (Messines) in the south.

The Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres (Ieper)The Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres (Ieper) (©

Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele (Passendale) Tyne Cot Military Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing, Passchendaele (©

Buttes New British Cemetery and Memorial, ZonnebekeButtes New British Cemetery Memorial, Zonnebeke (©

Messines Ridge British Cemetery and MemorialMessines Ridge Memorial (©

Memorial to the officers and men of New Zealand who fell in or near Messines in 1917 or 1918 and who have no known grave.


Extracts of text by kind permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Map and photographs

Copyright Joanna Legg & Graham Parker 2002 All rights reserved

Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing Buttes New British Cemetery and Memorial, Zonnebeke Messines Ridge British Cemetery and Memorial Essex Farm Military Cemetery Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, Ieper (Ypres)