90th anniversary Unveiling of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing

Date
24 July 2017 08:00

In our charity magazine, Review, in August 1927 the unveiling of the Menin Gates was recorded by two attending blind veterans. Listen to their account below.

Today (July 24) ceremonies are being held to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the opening of the Menin Gate Memorial to the missing in Ypres.

Ypres occupied a strategic position throughout the First World War. Major battles occurred here including First Battle of Ypres, the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Passchendaele. The memorial is one of four to missing British and Commonwealth soldiers from the First World War in the area around the Ypres Salient and it features more than 54,000 names.

Menin Gate ceremony crowds 24th August 1927 copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Menin Gate Unveiling ceremony 24 August 1927. Copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission

First World War blind veterans, Frederick Richardson and Henry Gransby were among the many ex-soldiers who gathered in Flanders in July 1927 for the dedication of the memorial.

Richardson, who lost his sight after being wounded in France, went to Ypres to support his wife Amelia as she mourned the loss of her three brothers in the Salient.

For Gransby, Ypres had the poignancy of being the last place that he ever saw. He was blinded on 16 September 1917 in the Battle of Passchendaele.

Their accounts were recorded in our charity magazine, Review, at the time.

Menin Gate Memorial unveiling story in August 1927 Review

Last week, in commemoration of the 90th anniversary we recorded their first-hand accounts. Please listen below.

We would like to thank Jack Condon, Catherine Dryden and Alfie Webster of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Paul Condon from BFBS for reading the exert in our new recording.

Jack Condon, Catherine Dryden and Alfie Webster 3rd year students from RADA reading from August 1027 Review
Jack Condon, Catherine Dryden and Alfie Webster 3rd year students from RADA reading from August 1027 Review