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CWGC: Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial, Belgium

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  • New Zealand War Graves Project.
    John Clark (1898 - 1917)
    John Clark was the son of William and Mary Clark, of Menzies Ferry, Invercargill. Native of Makarewa. His brother, Robert Clark (2/2794), was also killed in World War 1. Sources Cenotaph: New ...
  • Auckland Weekly News 1918.
    Pte. Edward Frederick Kibblewhite (1887 - 1918)
    Edward Kibblewhite was the son of Mary Jane Kibblewhite and James William Kibblewhite; and the husband of Mrs Evelyn Gladys Kibblewhite (nee Triggs), of 102 Edward Avenue, St. Albans, Christchurch, New...
  • Pte. Frank Mullen Cranston (1897 - 1917)
    Frank Cranston was the son of James and Ellen Cranston. Bank clerk. Frank enlisted on 22 December 1915 at the age of 18 years and 4 months. His date of birth on his enlistment paper, however, has him r...
  • Auckland Weekly News 1917.
    Capt. Duncan Buchanan MacFarlane (1892 - 1917)
    Duncan MacFarlane was the son of George Duncan MacFarlane and Annie MacFarlane, of 75 Harakete St., Lower Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand. He was born on 1 December 1892 (reg. 1892/13925). Killed ...
  • Otago Witness (4 July 1917, p. 32) (Supplement).
    Pte. Sidney James Andrews (1894 - 1917)
    Sidney James Andrews was born on 20 November 1894 (reg. 1895/4690). He was the son of Thomas Andrews and Emily Hanley (formerly Andrews), of Phillips St., Kensington, South Dunedin. Killed in Action, B...
  • Cemetery Name: Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial
  • Cemetery Location: Mesen, West-Vlaanderen,Belgium
  • NZ Casualties: 828
  • Total Known Casualties: 828
  • Listed Casualties: 828
Image right By Wernervc - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Location Information:

The Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial to the Missing is situated within Messines Ridge British Cemetery, which is located 9.5 kilometres south of Ieper town centre on the Nieuwkerkestraat, a road leading from the Rijselseweg, N365, which connects Ieper to Wijtschate, Mesen and on to Armentieres. From Ieper town centre the Rijselsestraat runs from the market square, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and directly over the crossroads with the Ieper ring road. The road name then changes to the Rijselseweg. Nieuwkerkestraat is a right hand turning from the N365 in the town of Mesen. The memorial lies 250 metres after this right hand turning, on the left hand side of the road.

Historical Information:

Messines (now Mesen) was considered a strong strategic position, not only from its height above the plain below, but from the extensive system of cellars under the convent known as the Institution Royale. The village was taken from the 1st Cavalry Division by the German 26th Division on 31 October-1 November 1914. An attack by French troops on 6 -7 November was unsuccessful and it was not until the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917 that it was retaken by the New Zealand Division. On 10-11 April 1918, the village fell into German hands once more after a stubborn defence by the South African Brigade, but was retaken for the last time on 28-29 September 1918. The MESSINES RIDGE (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL stands within Messines Ridge British Cemetery and commemorates over 800 soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who died in or near Messines in 1917 and 1918 and who have no known grave. This is one of seven memorials in France and Belgium to those New Zealand soldiers who died on the Western Front and whose graves are not known. The memorials are all in cemeteries chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the men died. MESSINES RIDGE BRITISH CEMETERY, in which this memorial stands, occupies ground that belonged to the Institution Royale. It was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefield around Messines and from a number of small burial grounds in the area. The dates of death of those buried here range from October 1914 to October 1918, but the majority died in the fighting of 1917. There are now 1,531 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 954 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate a number of casualties known or believed to be buried among them, or who were buried in other cemeteries where their graves were destroyed by shell fire. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Charles Holden.