Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing

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Ploegsteert Memorial
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Berks Cemetery Extension 2.JPG
For soldiers missing in the area during World War I
Unveiled 7 June 1931
Location 50°44′17″N 02°52′55″E / 50.73806°N 2.88194°E / 50.73806; 2.88194
near Ploegsteert, Hainaut, Belgium
Designed by H. Chalton Bradshaw
Gilbert Ledward (sculptor)
To the glory of God and to the memory of 11447 officers and men of the forces of the British Empire, who fell fighting in the years 1914-1918 between the River Douve and the towns of Estaires and Furnes, whose names are here recorded but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.[1]

The Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial in Belgium for missing soldiers of World War I, located in the village of Ploegsteert. It commemorates men from the Allied Powers who fought in the immediate area of the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. The memorial stands in the middle of Berks Cemetery Extension.


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.[2]

The cemetery grounds (also known as "Hyde Park Corner"[3] 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.


The Memorial to the Missing lists the 11,367[1] missing Commonwealth soldiers from battles in the area:[3]

The memorial also commemorates the names of three recipients of the Victoria Cross, who have no known grave:[4]

The memorial was designed by H Chalton Bradshaw, who also designed the Cambrai Memorial in France,[5] apart from two large lions which were commissioned from the sculptor Gilbert Ledward.[6] It 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.[3]

"The Last Post"[edit]

Since 7 June 1999, the Comité du Memorial de Ploegsteert has arranged for the Last Post to be played at the memorial on the first Friday of each month.[7]



  1. ^ a b "Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing". Taylor Empire Airways. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  2. ^ "Berks Cemetery Extension". The Great War In Flanders Fields. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Western Front Today" Check |url= value (help). 22 August 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  4. ^ "Ploegsteert Memorial". 12 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  5. ^ "Cambrai Memorial-location". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  6. ^ Catherine Moriarty, 'Ledward, Gilbert (1888–1960), sculptor', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004
  7. ^ "Ypres Salient Events". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]