The memorial was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, one of the first three Principle Architects appointed by the Commission to design its cemeteries and memorials.


Blomfield sought to design a fitting memorial based around the concept of a triumphal arch and a central hall. He drew inspiration from the seventeenth century Porte de la Citadelle in Nancy, France, a structure he admired.

The memorial is built of reinforced concrete faced with Euville stone and red brick. Its design is neo-classical and features symbols such as a lion (symbol of the City of Ieper), wreaths and garlands.

The lion and sarcophagus atop the memorial are the work of Scottish sculptor Sir William Reid Dick. The sculptor had a distinguished career in the military, serving with the Royal Engineers in France and Palestine.

The central hall is dominated by the name panels of the missing which run along the entire length of the interior. The name panels are inset into the stonework of the interior, slightly recessed from the surface. The panels are formed of stone slabs into which the names have been inscribed.

Writer Rudyard Kipling, who was the first Literary Advisor to the Commission, wrote a simple inscription at the top of the arch:

'To the Armies of the British Empire who stood here from 1914 to 1918 and

to those of their dead who have no known grave'.

Architects and Designers

Sir Reginald Blomfield, William Reid Dick

Sir Reginald Blomfield

Sir Reginald Blomfield

Sir Reginald Blomfield was born in 1856. One of the first three architects commissioned to design the cemeteries and memorials, he was appointed Principal Architect for France in 1918. Considered the most conventionally patriotic of the Commission's architects, Blomfield designed Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium, one of the most well-known war memorials.