In a Foreign Field – Memorials to the Missing Many of Helensburgh’s soldiers died in battle and their remains were not recovered. Men were often buried in temporary battlefield cemeteries and after the Armistice the Imperial War Graves Commission, as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was then known, carried out what was called a ‘concentration’. The mortal remains of the war dead were collected from the battlefield cemeteries and re-buried in the new Imperial War Grave cemeteries.

In the beautifully maintained Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries the graves of all soldiers, regardless of rank, religion or country of origin are marked with a uniform headstone of white Portland limestone.

However, some men were lost forever on the battlefields and at sea and have No Known Grave. These men, approximately 315,000 in France and Belgium alone, are remembered with honour on the great memorials built overseas to honour their sacrifice.

The inscription on the Menin Gate in Ypres encapsulates the intention of these memorials, “Here are recorded names of officers and men who fell in Ypres Salient, but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death”.

The names of Helensburgh men with no known grave, 101 altogether, appear on twenty-six memorials to the missing. All images, unless stated, Courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.