This Anglican Church was built to commemorate the dead, a meeting place for visiting relatives and to keep alive the memory of the sacrifices made in Ypres and the Ypres Salient. It was first mooted in August 1919 and was the result of an initiative led by the Ypres League whose president was the Canadian, Lieutenant- Colonel Henry Beckles Willson, who was also instrumental in the creation of the Imperial War Museum. The Ypres League contacted Sir Reginald Blomfield to draw plans for a memorial church. It was decided to build a school as well which would be paid for by donations made by Old Etonians and would serve as a memorial to the approximately three hundred and forty pupils who had given their lives in the Ypres Salient. The school was known as Eton Memorial School and for many years provided education for children of the British employees of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The community fled during the Second World War and only a few returned afterwards leading to the closure of the school. Amongst the visitors was King Leopold III, King of the Belgians, who had attended Eton College during WWI and Fabian Ware, founder of the IWGC. The church increasingly attracts visitors from all over the world, from Australia to America. Sir Reginald insisted on clear glass windows with small decorations instead of stained glass ones. The glass windows commemorate both individuals and regiments, for example, the Guards Regiments, twin brothers Captain Francis Octavius Grenfell and Riversdale Nonus Grenfell, South Irish Horse from Dublin, Monmouthshire Regiment, Captain George Thomas-O’Donnel from County Mayo in Ireland and was given by his parents Edwin and Millicent Thomas- O’Donnel. He was mentioned twice in dispatches and was awarded the Military Cross. Almost every item in the church serves as a permanent memorial to a soldier who gave his life in France and Flanders.

Where

Elverdingsestraat 1
8900 Ypres

Contact

Local map

Below you will find an interactive map.

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