Design

The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker. As one of three Principal Architects working for the Commission, he designed many of our cemeteries and memorials in France and Belgium.

 

The memorial is a semi-circular flint wall 4.25 metres high and more than 150 metres long, faced with panels of Portland stone. There are three apses and two rotundas. The central apse forms the New Zealand Memorial and the other two, as well as the rotundas and the wall itself, carry the names of United Kingdom dead. Two domed arched pavilions mark the ends of the main wall, each dome being surmounted by a winged female figure with head bowed over a wreath. The following inscription is carved on the frieze above the panels which contain the names:

1914 - HERE ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE ARMIES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE WHO FELL IN YPRES SALIENT, BUT TO WHOM THE FORTUNE OF WAR DENIED THE KNOWN AND HONOURED BURIAL GIVEN TO THEIR COMRADES IN DEATH – 1918

At each corner of the structure there are carved wreaths. Atop each of the pavilions is a winged figure in grief surmounting a globe. The globe itself is ringed with symbols including a Fleur-de-Lys, a shamrock, an anchor, a rose, an eagle and an oak leaf.

The sculptors Ferdinand Victor Blundstone and Joseph Armitage were commissioned to work with Baker on the memorial. Blundstone carved the angels surmounting the chapels and record building, and Armitage did the wreaths carried by the angels.

There was concern about the fragile state of the sculptures and Blundstone arranged for them to be completed from a scaffold after they were hoisted into place.

ARCHITECTS & DESIGNERS

Sir Herbert Baker, Joseph Armitage and Ferdinand Victor Blundstone

Sir Herbert Baker

Sir Herbert Baker

Sir Herbert Baker was born in 1862. As one of the first three Principal Architects, he designed Tyne Cot Cemetery and its memorial in Belgium. Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest CWGC cemetery in the world. His other work for the Commission includes Loos Memorial, Adanac Military Cemetery and Neuve Chapelle Memorial. He also worked in India and South Africa, where he designed a number of government buildings.