Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing
|Commonwealth War Graves Commission|
|For soldiers missing in the area during World War I|
|Unveiled||7 June 1931|
near Ploegsteert, Hainaut, Belgium
|Designed by||H. Chalton Bradshaw
Gilbert Ledward (sculptor)
The Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial in Belgium for missing soldiers of World War I. It commemorates men from the Allied Powers who fought on the northern Western Front outside the Ypres Salient and whose graves are unknown. The memorial is located in the village of Ploegsteert and stands in the middle of Berks Cemetery Extension.
History of the location
After Ploegsteert Wood (referred to colloquially as "Plug Street") had been the site of fierce fighting at the start of the war, it became a relatively quiet sector where no major action took place. Allied units were sent here to recuperate and retrain after fighting elsewhere and before returning to active operations. Berks Cemetery Extension was founded by Commonwealth troops in June 1916 as an extension to Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Cemetery which lies across the road. The cemetery grounds were assigned to the United Kingdom in perpetuity by King Albert I of Belgium in recognition of the sacrifices made by the British Empire in the defence and liberation of Belgium during the war.
Memorial to the Missing
The Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing is one of several CWGC Memorials to the Missing along the Western Front: those lost within the Ypres Salient are commemorated at the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, while the missing of New Zealand and Newfoundland are honoured on separate memorials. The Ploegsteert Memorial was designed by H Chalton Bradshaw, who also designed the Cambrai Memorial in France, apart from two large lions which were commissioned from the sculptor Gilbert Ledward. The Ploegsteert Memorial is 70 ft (21 m) in diameter and 38 ft 6 in (11.73 m) tall and was unveiled on 7 June 1931 by the then-Duke of Brabant, later King Leopold III of Belgium.
- Aubers Ridge
- Hazebrouck (part of the Battle of the Lys)
- Scherpenberg (part of the Battle of the Lys)
- Outtersteene Ridge (known as the 'Action of Outtersteene Ridge', 18 August 1918)
"The Last Post"
- "Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing". Taylor Empire Airways. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Berks Cemetery Extension". The Great War In Flanders Fields. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Cambrai Memorial-location". FirstWorldWar.com. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- Catherine Moriarty, 'Ledward, Gilbert (1888–1960), sculptor', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004
- FirstWorldWar.com "The Western Front Today" Check
|url=value (help). FirstWorldWar.com. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Ploegsteert Memorial". VictoriaCross.org.uk. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Ypres Salient Events". GreatWar.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
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