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.
Drove past it so many times myself. I’ll stop the next time and will spend some time there. Went to the Somme some weeks ago, but so close there is still so much to see. Thanks!
Hello Filip. Hope all is well with you. Yeah, do stop when you get the chance. Mrs Baldrick is insisting we all spend a few days on the Somme next summer; I haven’t been there since I was a child, and I have absolutely no recollection of my time there. Mind you, I’ll have to change the name of this site – With the British Army in Flanders (with a little bit of Somme too)!!
thank you for these photographs of the Gloucestershire Regiment memorial. This is meaningful for my family. My grandfather was in the 8th Btn and was killed in action on 20th Sept 1917 at Menin Road, his name was Corpl Sidney Herbert Lucas ( he was born in Stoud, Glos) and he is buried at the Oxford Road cemetery. He left a widow, my grandmother, Elizabeth and my father ( who was given his name- Sidney) was born posthumously( ie after his father’s death). I am now rather belatedly trying to find out more about S H Lucas. Your photographs add to my selection of meagre information. Much appreciated .
You are more than welcome Katherine. I’m pleased I could be of service. Although I did visit Oxford Road a while ago I have yet to post the photos. One of these days….. It’s late. Or early, depending on your viewpoint. I’ll reply to your other post tomorrow.
Katherine: My Great Grandfather Evan Henry Price was also in the 8th Battalion of the Gloucesters. He was also killed on the 20th of September 1917 on the Menin Road. He was from Mountain Ash in the South Wales valleys. One can only wonder if they knew of each other or even fought together on their final day. I have been to the Tyne Cot cemetery several times to where his name is engraved on the panel as his body was never found or identified. I notice though that your Grandfather is buried in the Oxford Road cemetery. Strangely, the other Lucas in the Oxford Road cemetery is from a few miles away from where I now live.
I have stopped at the Glosters memorial a few times as I am from Gloucestershire. Any idea why they have chosen this particular spot for the memorial? It seems rather unassuming and out of the way,
Kathryn, the memorial is close to the site of Clapham Junction, a crossroads on British trench maps, and the Gloucesters fought here in 1914. That’s why the memorial is sited where it is.
I am taking a year 8 group of 48 students from Cheltenham and I would like to stop at the Gloucester’s Memorial. (July 2023)
Can anyone point me to a good story of the Gloucesters preferably in the Ypres area.
Off the top of my head, the answer is no. Check the regimental history, find out which battalions were at the various places around Ieper mentioned on the memorial, then check the war diaries at the National Archives – you might well find some good stuff, and war diary extracts are great handouts.