Tank Memorial Ypres Salient, Poelkapelle
The memorial commemorates the men of the Tank Corps and former Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps who served in the Ypres Salient and who died in action or died of wounds.
On 9 October 1917 eight tanks deployed into Poelkapelle village. Each tank was either destroyed by enemy fire or sank into the mud. This was to be the last time that tanks were deployed in action in large numbers in the Ypres Salient.
Tank D29 Damon II was knocked out of the fight at this crossroads, having slipped in the mud into a shell crater and being unable to drive out again. After the war it was to be seen in the location at the crossroads where this memorial, inaugurated on 9 October 2009 and refurbished after it was damaged in a vehicle accident, now stands.
Memorial Design and Construction
The project to install a Tank Memorial for the Ypres Salient was the work of Chris Lock and his wife Milena. Chris and Milena are responsible for funding the project and were assisted by a team of volunteers.
The plot of land on which the memorial is located was given in perpetuity to the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient by the Flemish Government and the office of the Mayor of Langemark-Poelkapelle.
The design drawings and construction were overseen by Dirk Vinck from Elverdinge.
The Tank Memorial Ypres Salient Legacy Project
The TMYS Legacy Project has been carried out by Chris Lock, former 3rd Royal Tank Regiment tank crewman and current Honorary Chairman of the Friends of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient. Chris has identified, collated information on and visited the place of burial or memorial commemoration of all 243 tank soldiers who served with the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps or the Tank Corps and who were killed or died of wounds in Belgium, most particularly the Ypres Salient.
The register of the fallen has been produced on a CD. Each entry includes a photograph of the grave or memorial commemoration, a Poppy tribute from the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient and information relating to the soldier's personal details and burial reference.
The CD is on sale for a minimum donation of £10.00. All proceeds raised from sales of the CD, less the cost of production, post and packing, go to ensuring the annual and Armistice ceremonies take place. Donations are gratefully received: they support the TMYS commemoration and remembrance activities.
To purchase a copy of the CD please send payment of £10.00 by Sterling cheque (payable to C Lock), or the equivalent in Euros, to:
The Honorary Chairman, Friends of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient, Mr Chris Lock, Surmont De Volsberghestraat 32, Apartment 2, 8900 Ypres, Belgium
Friends of The Tank Memorial Ypres Salient
The Friends of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient organize an annual ceremony at the TMYS.
Also on certain dates during the year a Tank Corps flag-raising ceremony takes place at the memorial, commemorating the men of the Tank Corps in action:
- 6 April: To commemorate the Battle of the Lys 1918
- 7 June: Battle of Messines 1917
- 31 July: Third Battle of Ypres 1917
- 4 October: Captain Clement Robertson, recipient of the first Victoria Cross awarded to a member of the Tank Corps at Reutel in the Ypres Salient
For information about the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient, on how to join the Friends and details of ceremonies email or visit the website:
Email: www.tankmemorial.vpweb.co.uk Contact
Location of Tank Memorial Ypres Salient
The Tank Memorial Ypres Salient is located on the north-east side of the crossroads in the west end of Poelkapelle village, at the junction of the N313 and N301. It is easily accessible on the Guynemerplein, with its parking places for a row of shops.
Captain Clement Robertson, VC
Captain Clement Robertson of The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) was attached to “A” Battalion of the Tank Corps when he carried out an act of gallantry for which he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, the first one to be awarded to the Tank Corps. For Captain Robertson's citation and more detail about the action see our page at:
Royal Tank Regiment Association
The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset
See The Tank Museum website at: