The Western Front Today - St. George's Memorial Church

Located in central Ypres nearby the famed Cloth Hall, the foundation stone of St. George's Memorial Church was laid by Herbert Plumer - of Messines fame - on 24 July 1917.

A call to erect a memorial church in Ypres was made by Earl Haig, the former British Commander-in-Chief, in 1924, and was intended to serve the sizeable local British population.  The resultant church was designed by the architect of the Menin Gate, Sir Reginald Blomfield and constructed between 1928-29.

Much of the interior of the church is given over to memorials to individuals who served in the region, including memorials to Sir John French and Winston Churchill.

With the German occupation of the town during the Second World War much of the church's contents were hidden by locals until the town was liberated, at which point the stored memorials were returned to the church.

Services continue to be held in the church each Sunday with a special service held on 11 November.

The site also originally included the Eton Memorial School used by the children of Imperial (later Commonwealth) War Graves Commission gardeners and employees: it is now used as the parish hall.

Film Footage of St George's Church (1)

Film Footage of St George's Church (2)

Film Footage of St George's Church (3)

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

In preparation for the Battle of the Somme, the British launched a seven-day artillery bombardment in which 1,500 guns fired 1.6 million rounds.

- Did you know?