Mail: "Silent Cities Of Sacrifice: Battlefields Where You Can Mark 100 Yrs Since WW1"


"They call them the silent cities: the immaculately kept Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries that dominate the landscape along the line of the old Western Front from Ypres to Verdun.

It is around Ypres, however, that their presence is most affecting. Practically at every turn there is a sign pointing towards another cemetery. It's only when you see the rows and rows of headstones that you begin to appreciate the scale of the slaughter – in this area of Belgium alone, it is estimated that more than 400,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers lost their lives between 1914 and 1918."

The silent cities of sacrifice: The battlefields where you can mark 100 years since WW1 | Mail Online
I've been to most of those sites the Mail listed, my hotel was opposite the Hooge crater. I've got a relatively unusual surname and, according to the National Archives, only 86 people with the same name fought in WW1 (including my paternal Grandfather who fought at Ypres and survived) so it was a bit of a surprise to see my surname on the Menin Gate. Got me history hunting though!
Found Grandad enlisted with DCLI (although he was a London boy), wounded, recovered, drafted to the Dublin Fusiliers as they needed the men, wounded again and sent to another Irish regiment in Egypt to recover when the war ended. He was tricky to find as he'd swapped his forenames about to get in and each regiment gave him a different Official Number. He was part of the 27th Division and fought at Ypres and in the Balkans. It helped when the National Archives released the details (cost me a £10 IIRC to download his service details) plus this site supplied most of the rest...The Long, Long Trail
I meant to add that 8 of the 86 died in WW1 and the one on the Menin Gate was in the Kings Royal Rifle Corp and died on the 30/07/15. If anyones interested, you only need stick your surname on the CWGC website and it lists all fatalties in both World Wars..CWGC - Find War Dead
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