The Western Front Today - Hyde Park Corner / Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing

Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing - or 'Hyde Park Corner' as it is commonly known, was designed Charlton Bradshaw.  He was awarded the design of the memorial after his original winning design for memorials in Lille and Cambrai was abandoned after French concerns at the scale and number of planned memorials prompted a reduction of the latter.

Uniquely for the Ypres Salient the Ploegsteert Memorial comprises a circular temple with pillars guarded by two lions, one of which embodies stern defiance and the other serenity.

The Memorial lists the missing from the battles of Armentieres, Aubers Ridge (in 1914), Loos, Fromelles (in 1915), Estaires (in 1916), Hazebrouck, Scherpenberg and Outtersteene Ridge (in 1918).  In total some 11,447 men's names are inscribed.  The memorial is 70 feet in diameter and 38.5 feet in height.  It was unveiled on 7 June 1931 by the Duke of Brabant.

Nearby the Memorial is Ploegsteert Wood which was where Lt Bruce Bairnsfather of the Royal Warwickshires drew his first war cartoons and where the legendary 'Old Bill' cartoon character was born.  Bairnsfather spent Christmas 1914 in the sector and later remarked upon meeting German soldiers during that year's remarkable Christmas Truce.

Either side of the Memorial is Berkshire Extension & Extension, and opposite (across the road) is Hyde Park Corner cemetery.

Film Footage of Ploegsteert Wood

Film Footage of Berkshire Extension (1)

Film Footage of Berkshire Extension (2)

Film Footage of Berkshire Extension (3)

Before Endeavours Fade, Rose E.B. Coombs, After the Battle 1994
Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide - Somme, Leo Cooper 2000

Around one million Indian troops served in WW1, of which some 100,000 were either killed or wounded.

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