During the time of World War I, the historical Belgium market town in Ypres was located at a significantly critical position near the British front lines and is also uncontroversially one of the most prestigious regions of the Western Front due to a notorious fight which happened here.
The First Battle of Ypres all through October and November 1914 saw the Allies retake Ypres from the Germans and in spite of vicious fighting around Ypres right up until World War I finished in 1918, the German Army never recaptured Ypres.
However, during the four years of World War I, Ypres took a fearful cost because four key battles were fought close to here. During the 2nd Battle of Ypres in April and May 1915, the Germans retook the high ridge off to the east of Ypres. The area contained the village of Passchendaele.
In 1917, among the most ferocious conflicts of World War I happened. The 3rd Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele saw Allied Forces retake the high ground though with a dreadful cost. In between July and November 1917, there were approximately half a million casualties on both sides and Ypres was just about wiped off the map by German artillery.
The well-known Cloth Hall and most other properties were destroyed and years of history went with them. In 1933, reconstruction began on the Cloth Hall and it was finally completed in 1967 having been fastidiously reconstructed to bring back its heritage. These days, the Cloth Hall in Ypres houses the In Flanders Fields Museum.
Throughout The First World War, the Menin Gate was simply an exit cut from the eastern ramparts of Ypres. Plenty of troops would have passed through this exit en route towards the front lines. In 1927, the Menin Gate Memorial was unveiled. It commemorates the names of in excess of 54,000 men who are still missing on the battlefields in and around the Ypres Salient and every night, the Last Post ceremony will take place here at 8pm by the grateful citizens of Ypres.