Memorials Of The Great War




TRBL in support of

War Memorial of the Month - October 2018

Memorial To The Missing of The Somme, Thiepval, France

click on the images to enlarge

 To protect and promote the spirit and substance of the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens OM


© Tim Skelton 2011 LT20666
press to zoom
© Tim Skelton 2011 LT20667
press to zoom
© Tim Skelton 2011 LT20665
press to zoom

The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme at Thiepval is the largest British war memorial in the world and its brooding presence serves as a sombre reminder of the huge loss of life during World War 1.  The Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission had determined that the death of every soldier would be recorded in the battle area where they fell - either via their grave or, if their body could not be found or positively identified, then through a series of Memorials to the Missing.  The struggles to take the land in this part of the Western Front are well documented and, as a consequence, a memorial was needed that could accommodate 73,000 names.


Lutyens’s solution to this challenge was a series of 16 square pillars faced with limestone panels for the inscriptions that supported a series of four interpenetrating arches of differing heights.  It is a masterful design and shows the architect at the peak of his powers.  The original plan was for the memorial to span the road north of St Quentin but objections from the French highway authority and other concerns led to it being relocated to Thiepval, where it forms a significant landmark in the local countryside.


Location: Road D151, Thiepval, France



black_leftwards_arrowhead_u27A4_icon_64x64 copy


Our sites use cookies to improve your experience as a user. By using our sites you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy