We’ve been here before. Many times, actually*. This is the Menin Road, and we are heading east, towards Hooge on the horizon.
*See the Menin Road Category on the right of the page.
A little way past Hooge, the road is flanked by two memorials, and although it’s so easy just to drive past – I have done it many times myself – it is worth a stop to remember the thousands of men commemorated here.
The memorial on the right, on the southern side of the road, is to the men of the 18th Division who lost their lives in France and Belgium during the Great War.
The 18th Division, a New Army Division, spent much of the war further south in France, so the choice of location for this memorial is in itself interesting.
Almost opposite, on the northern side of the road, the second memorial commemorates the men of the Gloucestershire Regiment who fought and fell not just in France and Flanders, but at Gallipoli, in Mesopotamia, in Italy, and in many other theaters of war between 1914 and 1918.
The Gloucesters were present at almost every notable event on the Western Front during the war. The list of campaigns and actions inscribed on the memorial begins on the eastern panel with the early actions at Mons, continues with names you will all recognize from the following years,…
…and finishes on the western panel with the battles of 1918 and actions further afield. If you ever find yourself driving down the Menin Road, spare the men who fought these battles a thought as you pass by. Or better still, give them five minutes of your time.