Menin Gate in Ypres Belgium We will remember them

At 11am on 11 November 1918 "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the
eleventh month" an armistice with Germany was signed and a ceasefire
came into defect. This ended World War I in Belgium and Europe.

Menin Gate Ypres Belgium


Position of Ypres during World War I

During the First World War, Ypres in Belgium had a very strategic position
because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of
Belgium as had been called for in the Schlieffen Plan.

By October 1914, the much battered Belgian Army broke the dykes on the
Yser River to the north of the City to keep the Western tip of Belgium out
of German hands.

Ypres was the centre of a road network anchored one end of his
defensice feature and it was also essential for the Germans if they wanted to
take the Channel Ports through which British support was flooding into
France. For the Allies, Ypres was also important because it was the last
major Belgian town that was not under German control.



During the First Battle of Ypres (19 October till 22 November 1914),
the Allies halted the German Army's advance to the east of the city.

The Second Battle of Ypres marked a second German attempt to take the
city in April 1915.

The Third Battle is more known as the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
Thereafter there were the fourth and the fifth battles during 1918.

British and Commonwealth soldiers often passed through the Menin Gate
on their way to the front lines with some 300,000 of them being killed
in the Ypres Salient. 90,000 of these men have no known graves.




History of the Menin Gate

After the World War I , the Imperial War Graves Commission (later
renamed to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) wanted to
create a Memorial for the Missing soldiers.

The Triumphal arch was designed in 1921 and is the entry to the
passage for traffic through the mausoleum that honours the Missing
soldiers who have no known graves. It was created by Sir Reginald
Blomfield.

It is a very large Hall of Memory and it contains names on stone panels of
54,395 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Salient. Although
the Menin Gate memorial does not list the names of the missing
of New Zealand and Newfoundland soldiers (they have separate
memorials).



Last Post Ceremony


The Menin Gate memorial was opened in 1927. Since then the people
of Ypres wanted to express their gratitude towards those who had
given their lives for Belgium's freedom.

Every evening at 8pm, buglers from the Last Post Association close the
road which passes under the memorial and sound the Last Post.

Except during the occupation by the Germans in World War II, this
ceremony has been carried on uninterrupted since 2 July 1928.

Australians Lions at the Menin Gate in Ypres Belgium


In 1936, carved limestone lions were donated by the Australian War
Memorial. They were restored in 1987 and were currently standing
reside at the entrance of the Memorial. These were gifted by the
Australian government.


Burials By nations at the Menin Gate:


- United Kingdom: 40,244
- Canada: 6,983
- Australia: 6,198
- South Africa: 564
- British India: 414
- British West Indies: 6

India Monument near the Menin Gate



The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge screenshot 2017


Royal visitors

To remember the Battle of Passchendaele which lasted from
31 July 1917 till 6 November 1917, the Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge attended in 2017 a Last Post Ceremony together with
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

The Duke of Cambridge during his speech at the Menin Gate screenshot


That day the Duke of Cambridge gave a speech under the
Menin Gate. He described how in First World War, Britain
and Belgium stood "shoulder to shoulder".

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium
governor of the province of Western Flanders





own pictures taken in 2017 + screenshots from 2017

9 November 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall

9 November 1989 marks the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1989 a series of
revolutions in Poland and Hungary caused a chain reaction in Eastern
Germany that finally resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Afer several weeks of civil unrest the East German government
announced on 9 November 1989 that all people from East Germany
could visit West Germany and West Berlin.

Crowds of East Germans climbed and crossed the hated wall, joined
by West Germans.

The next weeks people and souvenir hunters took away parts of the
wall.

Officially the demolition of the Wall started on 13 June 1990.

Berlin Wall own picture


***
My god help Me to survive this Deadly Love.
This shows Leonid Brezhnev and Erich
Honecker kissing. This work is called the
kiss of Death and it is one of the most 
well known paintings of the remaining
Berlin Wall. 

The Kiss shows Leonid Brezhnev, 
the Soviet Leader
and Erich Honecker, the President of
East Germany. 

*** 



Some history


After the end of World War II, Germany was controlled by the Allied
powers: United States, United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union.

Already in 1948, Stalin instituted the Berlin Blockade. The German
Democrated Republic (East Germany) was declared on 7 October 1949.

In 1961 the construction of the Berlin Wall started. On 13 August of
that year, the border with West Berlin was closed.




My interest in history


On 9 November 1989, I was 10 years old and it was the first time that
such a huge historical event took place in my life. So I started to
interest me in history.

It only was in 2013 that I visited Berlin, the capital of Germany for
real. So, these pictures of the Berlin Wall are taken in May 2013.




Royal visitors

Already in June 2013, King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima of
The Netherlands visited Berlin.

From 23 till 26 June 2015, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke
of Edinburgh visited Berlin.

In 2017, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Germany and Berlin.
More on this link

In November 2018, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium were
in Berlin to celebrate the centenary of the end of World War I.

On 7 May 2019, Charles the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of
Cornwall visited Berlin. More on this link