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Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut

The Ploegsteert Memorial commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector of Belgium during the First World War and have no known grave.  The memorial serves the area from the line Casestre-Dranoutre-Warneton to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes to the south, including the towns of Hazebrouck, Merville, Bailleul and Armentières, the Forest of Nieppe and Ploegsteert Wood.  The original intention had been to erect the memorial in Lille.  The name of one man from Badsey is recorded on the memorial:  Corporal Robert Lewis, who died on 25th April 1918.

The Ploegsteert Memorial stand in Berks Cemetery Extension, which is located 12.5 kilometres south of Ieper town centre, on the N365 leading from Ieper to Mesen (Messines), Ploegsteert and on to Armentières.  The sounding of the Last Post takes place at the memorial on the first Friday of every month at 7 pm.

Most of those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south.  Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterized this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere.

The cemetery, cemetery extension and memorial were designed by Harold Chalton Bradshaw, with sculpture by Gilbert Ledward.  The memorial was unveiled by the Duke of Brabant on 7th June 1931.