In glorious weather, the Menin Gate, recording the names of 56,000 officers and men of the British Forces who lost their lives in the Ypres Salient, and whose graves are not known, was inaugurated yesterday by Field Marshal Lord Plumer, in the presence of the King of the Belgians and an immense concourse of spectators.
These included some 4,000 relatives of the “missing”, largely mothers, widows and fiancées. For these relatives of the dead, special travelling arrangements from England had been made by the War Graves Commission.
King Albert, in a stirring tribute to “these incomparable defenders of this historic Salient”, declared the Gate would, to generations to come, stand sacredly emblematic of the sacrifice of the unknown thousands whose names it bore. The impressive ceremony was successfully relayed by the BBC.
The whole ceremony passed off without the slightest hitch, and entirely in accordance with the programme. Despite the solemnity of the proceedings, the general spirit evinced was one of hopefulness and assurance.