This is an astounding Memorial to those that served...and those that died...I had read about it before I left Canada...and when I walked inside quite nonchalantly...I couldn't believe what I saw....
EVERY little available spot within this church is some type or other a Memorial to a loved one...from the stain glass windows...to brass plaques on the backs of the chairs..the cushions that are on the chairs,Regimental flags,placards,banners and even a bust of French himself [read below]....YOU name it...Its all done VERY tastefully though but I was really taken a back...
This Anglican Church was built as a result of an appeal by Lord French of Ypres [the first Commander-in-Chief of the British Army during the First World War] after the hostilities stopped.
French and others wanted to see an English church, where the people visiting the battlefields, the grieving relatives of those who had fallen as well as brother soldiers who survived the slaughter could come for prayer and remembrance.
Long story short... on June the 24th, 1929, the Bishop of Fulham consecrated the Church.
I came across something that made me wonder a little...if we're friends Ill share a little story with you in more detail....but you need to ask.....what it was that made me almost drop dead in my tracks was a brass plaque honoring the ranks of The Canadian Princess Patricia's Light Infantry unit that was originally privately funded and raised from men and now women of Eastern Ontario region where my family has lived for more than two hundred years...The Memorial also specifically mentions the founder, Brigadier A. Hamilton Gault who curiously died on the very day that I was born...
This is a must see place....sit and listen for a while...
This is a lovely little church which since 1929 has been a memorial to the soldiers of britian and the Commonwealth. At the end of the war Field marshall Lord French appealed for a church to be built as a memorial and this site was located and the foundation stone was laid on th 27th of July 1927. The church was consecrated on the 24th of March 1929 by the Bishop of Fulham. The beautiful windows and the memorial plaques record the regiments that fought in the Ypres Salient. There are also memorials to individual soldiers and officers. On all the chairs are were embroidered by volunteers. In the space of three 150 of the hassocks or kneelers were placed in the church. They were inspired by a member of the Friends of St George's which is a charity in England that was formed 50 years ago to support the church.
About 178,000 visitors visit this lovely little church every year.
St. George's Memorial Church was built to honour the thousands of men who died in the 3 battles around Ieper. At the end of the First World War 500.000 men were killed and the Commonwealth War Cemeteries around Ypres mark the areas on which they fell.
Since the end of World War II the Church has also been a memorial to the troops who passed through Ieper in the retreat to Dunkirk.
The church is packed with signs and banners of many regiments.
St George memorial Church is only a few steps away from St Martin's cathedral. It is just around the corner in a matter of saying.
This Anglican Church dates from 1929. Everything in this church is collected by donations of British associations, regiments and individual persons.
Do not forget to enter this small church, it is open daily.
There are many remembrance plates, regiment banners, a beautiful baptismal font and of course the very colourful kneelers on the chairs.
With all the remembrance plates which cover the walls of the St George, this looks very different then any other church.
Another remarkable thing, are the embroided cushions on the seets the so called Kneelers also named "Hassocks", which are a project of the friends of St.-Georges. Every seat is covered with a colourful kneeler with the signs of different historical regiment on them.
These kneelers result in a very colourful sight in this St George memorial church.
And as this whole church is based on donations, they already have more different kneelers then they have seats.
St. George's Memorial Church was built as a memorial to the thousands of men who died in the three battles of the Ypres Salient.
Field Marshal Sir John French, appealed for a British memorial church to be built here. Land was allocated and planning permission was given by the town of Ieper.
In July 1927, the foundation stone of the church was laid. The church was dedicated for worship in March 1929. It is one of the 13 Anglican churches in Belgium.
Remarkable are the memorial brass plaques dedicated to the memory of regiments, battalions (1000 men in WW I) and individuals.
My photo (pic 2) shows 3 such plaques; one dedicated to a private, an Australian driver, another to a 2nd Lieutenant of the Middlesex regiment and a third to the Coldstream Guards. Many of these memorials plaques were carefully removed during the World War II and replaced afterwards.
Some regimental banners are hanging in the church such as the one of the Queens Westminster Riffles (pic 1). There is also a large window dedicated to the Guards Division (pic 4). The embroidered kneelers on each chair add colour to the church. The chairs have also plaques.
I have always been surprised by the names of British regiments; they are linked to shires, counties, towns, royals. For example on pic 3 "Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry", "Seaforth Highlanders".
This was not the case with names of regiments from France or Belgium. In these allied armies regiments had just a number followed by the type of arm.
For example 60e RI (régiment d'infanterie), 16e RAC (régiment d'artillerie de campagne), for the cavalry the number was followed by Dragons, Hussards, Chasseurs à Cheval.
The church is open every day from 9.30 am until dusk (4pm in winter).
We found the memorial to be very moving in rememberance of those killed by their enemies.
I have served in the army of my country and lost friends in wars and I know that this is just one of the fitting and proper ways to honor those who gave their lives.
I found this on the internet about St. George's Memorial Church (the internet address is - http://netministries.org/see/churches/ch00278 (if you would like to read or learn more).
"A Pilgrim's Hall and a Vicarage were built in the grounds of the church. A British School was built next to the Vicarage as a donation by Eton College to the British Community in Ypres. In 1938 the school had 98 children, mainly from the families of British staff of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The school was closed at the beginning of the Second World War and never re-opened. The Vicarage and Pilgrim's Hall were sold because the church authorities at the time thought that the British Community could no longer support a Chaplain. Little did they realise that in the year 2002 there would be over 100.000 visitors to the church. In 2002 we celebrated our 75th anniversary of the laying of the foundation - stone.
Windows and Memorials : The history of regiments and individual soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient is reflected in the Windows and Memorial Plaques in the Church . In the Sanctuary, dominated by the Window to the Guards Division, you will see brass plaques dedicated to the memory of Regiments, some of wich consisted of 56 battalions. A battalion consisted of up to 1000 officers and men when fully up to establishment. One plaque for 5600 men!
The embroidered "Kneelers" otherwise known as "Hassocks" have been a major project begun by the " Friends of St.George's " and co-ordinated by Renée Kinnear, who with a small team of " Friends " has worked hard to create many of the kneelers on behalf of donors."
I'm not one for visiting churches but St George's Chapel should be visited when you are in Ypres. Inside the walls are covered with brass plaques remembering individual soldiers, battalions and regiments. A number of regimental banners hang around the chapel whilst the kneeling cushions have wonderful beadwork regimental badges. Many of the chairs also have dedications on them. The stained glass windows are memorials in themselves and let plenty of light into the chapel. Entrance is free but please remember to put a few coins in the charity box as a token of your respect. As well as being a place of worship the chapel is a history lesson in its own right.
A Pilgrim's Hall and a Vicarage - the second condition to rebuilt the city is fullfilled
More than 100.000 visitors/year will visit/revisited this church
The history of regiments and individual soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient is reflected in the Windows and Memorial Plaques in the Church
The kneelers, also known as "Hassocks" created by donors and families. They make a beautifull scene.
The church is open to visitors every day from 9.30am untill 20.00
THE MORALITY OF WAR : Tribute to the many; too many soldiers who suffered, died or even survived, but without leaving a scare
Sir Winston Churchill - the indomitable Statesman fought in the salient in 1916 and had a big influence on the decision to rebuilt the city of Ypres after the grand war.
I quote " I should like us to acquire the whole of the ruins of Ypres.. a more sacred place for the British race does not exist in the world. - Speech of WC, minister of war, Jan1919"
St. George's Memorial Church was built after the Great War (WWI) in memory of the soldiers who died during the war.
On all the chairs in the church there's a cushion with the family name embroided on it, which makes for a very colourful sight.
This anglican church is specially built for the british visitors of the area. In the church are many monuments remembering the soldiers of the Great War.
The foundation stone of St. Georges Memorial Church was laid in 1927 and the Church opened in 1929. It was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.
Across the street from the theatre and monastry gate is a small humble church that has a non-Flanders look. Saint georges is a typical Anglican church and was opened in 1929 as a memorial church for the thousands of pelgrims that would come to Ieper and commemorate the fallen countrymen. Since then it has been the centre of the very close British society in Ieper, as well as the visiting ones. Services held here can be attended on Sundays and are - of course - held in English.
Anglican church built in 1928-1929. Everything, even the furniture, was offered by Commonwealth societies, regiments, families or individuals to commemorate a unit or an individual. The church is open to visitors every day.