memorials and cemeteries  

The Imperial War Graves Commission, (now called the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) was established in 1917 to maintain the cemeteries and record the Commonwealth dead of the Great War (and later the Second World War). Its mission was threefold:

1. To ensure that the name of each serviceman who died in the war, or during the immediate postwar period, would be commemorated on a headstone or engraved on a battlefield memorial.

2. To ensure that all soldiers would receive universal treatment in death.

3. To ensure that no bodies would be repatriated; all would remain in the country in which they died.

Located in the town of Ypres, the Menin Gate Memorial was built in the 1920s to commemorate Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Ypres Salient and who have no known grave. Engraved on its walls are the names of more than 55,000 Commonwealth soldiers, including 6,983 Canadians. The names are listed by unit, rank and then alphabetically.

The Canadians named on the memorial were killed predominantly in the battles of Second Ypres 1915, St. Eloi 1916, Mount Sorrel 1916 and Passchendaele 1917. Roughly two thirds of the men killed at Passchendaele have no known grave and are commemorated on the Menin Gate.

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