Soon after the Great War finished, Field Marshall French suggested the British build an Anglican church in Ypres to honour the soldiers and units of the British army who served on the Ypres Salient. He also wanted the building to act as a meeting place for visiting relatives who began coming out to see where their loved ones had fallen very soon after the war ended.

The Imperial War Graves Commission assisted in the search for a suitable place and land was purchased in the centre of Ypres. Sir Reginald Blomfield, who designed the nearby Menin Gate was taken on as architect. Things moved swiftly after that, with the foundation stone laid in 1927 and the building opened in March 1929. A small school was originally opened next to the church to educate the children of the many British employees of the Imperial War Graves Commission and was known as Eton College School. The German occupation of Ypres during the Second World War finished the school off and today the building serves as a church hall.

The walls are covered with brass plaques commemorating both individuals and regiments. The KSLI have a brass plaque commemorating their part in the Ypres Salient.

The walls are covered with brass plaques commemorating both individuals and regiments. The KSLI have a brass plaque commemorating their part in the Ypres Salient.

 

Everything in the church was given in memory of someone who died in the war as the personal inscription on the back of this kneeler shows.

Everything in the church was given in memory of someone who died in the war as the personal inscription on the back of this kneeler shows.

Every piece of furnishing in the church, from plaques on the wall, chairs, windows, banners to church furniture was donated in memory of a person, or members of a regiment, who gave their life in the battles around Ypres. The result is a both a poignant and a gloriously colourful memorial church in the heart of the city.

This kneeler was worked to honour the memory of soldiers in the KSLI

This kneeler was worked to honour the memory of soldiers in the KSLI

 

 

The KSLI are commemorated on a brass plaque on the wall and on a beautifully worked kneeler.