View Full Version : The Thiepval Arch.......Commemorating 72,000 Lost soldiers in WW1

1938 Observer
11th June 2011, 22:24
I had not heard of this memorial before and only noticed a small reference to it in the "Country Life" UK magazine for September 1, 2010. so naturally :wink: I decided to investigate further.

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Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Somme Battlefields, France

The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme battlefields bears the names of 72,194 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces.

These men died in the Somme battle sector before 20th March 1918 and have no known grave. The date of 20th March was the day before the German Army launched a large-scale offensive, codenamed “Operation Michael”, against the British Army Front in the sector of the Somme.

Over 90 percent of those commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial died in the 1916 Battles of the Somme between July and November 1916.

An Anglo-French Memorial
The French Tricolore on the southern side and the British Union Jack on the northern side fly on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
The Thiepval memorial serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial. It was designed as an arch representing the alliance of Britain and France in the Somme 1916 offensive against the German defensive Front.

British and French National Flags
The the British Union Jack and the French Tricolore are flown on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. On the uppermost part of the memorial building the British flag flies on the northern side and the French flag flies on the southern side. This is representative of the British Army being in action on the northern area of the 1916 Somme battlefield, north of the River Somme, and the French Army being in action on the southern area of the 1916 Somme battlefield, south of the River Somme.

Anglo-French Cemetery
Looking westwards to the Anglo-French Cemetery from the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
A cemetery with equal numbers of French and Commonwealth graves has been laid out at the foot of the Thiepval Memorial. The cemetery represents the shared sacrifice of these two nations in the Great War of 1914-1918.

Just go to the link for more information and some good photographs.