Most British and Commonwealth soldiers - possibly hundreds of thousands - passed through this 17th century Menin Gate bridge (Menenpoort) on route to the front lines with some 300,000 of them killed in the immediate Ypres Salient area. Of these, 90,000 have no known grave. After the war was over the Menin Gate Bridge was chosen as the site of a magnificent Memorial Arch.
The Arch commemorates by individual names over 55,000 dead of the armies of the British Commonwealth who fell in Belgium, most of them in the immediate Ypres Salient area, but whose final resting-place is known 'only to God'. Of these, 6,940 are Canadians.The Menin Gate memorial monument was opened on 24th July 1927 by Field Marshal Sir Lord Plumer, who Allied troops had fought under and had great respect for. The majority of the engraved names are found on the walls of the main passage, called the Hall of Memories.
The dead are remembered daily in a simple ceremony that takes place every evening at sunset, where all traffic through the gateway in either direction is halted, and buglers take their place at the centre of the Hall and sound the Last Post. This is done by volunteers and is not arranged or financially ly supported by any government. Two silver trumpets for use in the ceremony are a gift to the Ypres Last Post Committee by an officer of the Royal Canadian Artillery, who served with the 10th Battery, of St. Catharines, Ontario, in Ypres in April 1915.