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Menin Gate Lion
Menin Gate Lion

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Peter F. Williams

Sculpture commemorates the Australian Servicemen who helped defend Ypres in Belgium in 1917 during World War One. In 1936 the Burgomaster of Ypres presented the lions to the Australian Government as a gesture of friendship between that town and the people of Australia.

The Menin Gate was so named because here the road out of Ypres passed through the old wall defences going in the direction of Menin. During the war the two stone lions standing on each side of the Menin Gate were seen by tens of thousands of troops as they went towards the front line. The gate, beyond which these men’s fate lay, became highly symbolic. Afterwards it was decided that on the site a huge monument, designed by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, would commemorate those of the Empire who were killed in Belgium but have no known grave. The memorial was unveiled by Field Marshal Lord Plumer on 24 July 1927. Although it bears the names of 55,000 soldiers including 6,000 Australians, so great were the casualties that not all the names of “the missing” are there. Every evening the Last Post is sounded under the memorial’s great arch.

Location

Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Australian War Memorial, Campbell, 2612
State:ACT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.281167
Long: 149.148469
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1936
Front Inscription

MENIN GATE LIONS.

These medieval stone lions once stood on either on the Menin Gate in the walls of the town of Ypres in Belgium. Ypres was destroyed in the war and these lions were recovered from the ruins of the Menin Gate. During the first world war allied soldiers passed through the Gate to the battlefields around Ypres, where over 38,000 Australians were killed or wounded. The Gate became the site of a memorial to the British empire soldiers, including over 6000 Australians, killed around Ypres and who have no known graves.

In 1936 the Burgomaster of Ypres presented the lions to the Australian Government as a gesture of friendship between that town and the people of Australia. They commemorate the service of the Australian soldiers who helped to defend Ypres in 1917.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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