"The Missing of the Somme"


The Thiepval Memorial commemorates almost 73,000 soldiers who died on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and 20th March 1918 who have no known grave. From 21st March, casualties who are  missing  in this area are commemorated on the nearby Pozičres Memorial. A high proportion of the names at Thiepval are soldiers who died on 1st July 1916 – the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Located at one of the key sites on the Somme battlefield, it was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was unveiled in 1932 by the Prince of Wales. Thiepval remains one of the most impressive memorials on the Western Front and can be seen for miles around; it is the largest of all the memorials to the missing on the British sector of the Western Front, being 150 feet high with base 123 by 140 feet.

Almost every regiment and corps of the British army are found here, and in addition soldiers from the Royal Naval Division and South African Brigade. Perhaps every rank from Private to Lieutenant Colonel is recorded, and the youngest soldier to die on the Somme (Pte Reginald Giles, Gloucestershire Regt, age 14) is commemorated on the memorial.

The London Regiment has the greatest number of names, with 4,340 listed. Next is the Nothumberland Fusiliers with 2,931 names and Royal Fusiliers with 2,502; reflecting the large size of these regiments during the Great War.

The names are listed on huge panels, mounted on sixteen piers, in regimental order and then within each regiment by rank and then name. However, the register contained in bronze lockers by the main steps is in surname order.

The introduction to the register, published in the 1930s, says of those commemorated here:

" A few will be found and identified as the woods are cleared, or when the remaining tracts of devastated land are brought under the plough. Many more are already buried in the larger British cemeteries of the Somme, but as unidentified. To the great majority this memorial stands for grave and headstone, and this register for as proud a record as that for any grave."

Indeed, when the memorial was first built it commemorated 73,077 soldiers and sailors. The remains of several hundred have been found since, and indeed names added to the memorial on the Addenda Panels. The new total is just below 73,000.


The Thiepval Memorial is well signposted from many locations on the Somme battlefield, but the best way to reach it from Bapaume (the way most people come into the area) is to follow the D929 in the direction of Albert. Stay on this until the village of Pozičres. Here turn right on the D73 following signs for Thiepval itself. In the village turn left at the main crossroads, and then left again at the church. This is the approach road which will take you straight to the memorial car park.

The Thiepval Visitors Centre opened in July 2004, and has toilets, a small shop, exhibition area, and drinks machines. It is open every day from 10.00-17.00 (18.00 in Summer months).

Victoria Cross winners commemorated on Thiepval are:


Captain E.F.N.Ball

9th Inniskilling Fusiliers

Thiepval 1st July 1916

Pte W.Buckingham

2nd Leicesters

Neuve-Chapelle 10th March 1915(1)

Lt G.StG.S.Cather

9th Royal Irish Rifles

Thiepval 1st July 1916

Rfn W.McFadzean

14th Royal Irish Rifles

Thiepval 1st July 1916

Rfn W.Mariner

2nd King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Loos 30th June 1916

Lt T.O.L.Wilkinson

7th Loyal North Lancs

La Boisselle 5th July 1916

Lt A.Young

South African Infantry

KIA 10th October 1916

(1) Pte W.Buckingham was killed on the Somme, September 1916.



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Army Cyclist Corps 12C 10
Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 15A & 16C 458
Bedfordshire Regiment 2C 868
The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) 10A 622
Border Regiment 6A & 7C 876
The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 5D 538
Cambridgeshire Regiment 16B 47
Cameron Highlanders 15B 557
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 4D 667
Cheshire Regiment 3C & 4A 851
Coldstream Guards 7D & 8D 360
Connaught Rangers 15A 71
Devonshire Regiment 1C 498
Dorsetshire Regiment 7B 342
2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) 1A 1
3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales's) 1A 1
5th Dragoon Guards (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) 1A 2
6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) 1A 2
7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's) 1A 6
1st (Royal) Dragoons 1A 2
2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) 1A 3
6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons 1A 5
Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 6B 542
Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry 1A 2
Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) 6A & 6B 891
Durham Light Infantry 14A & 15C 1,592
East Lancashire Regiment 6C 697
East Surrey Regiment 6B & 6C 690
East Yorkshire Regiment 2C 884
Essex Regiment 10D 959
Essex Yeomanry 1A 2
General List 4C 10
Gloucestershire Regiment 5A & 5B 1,073
Gordon Highlanders 15B & 15C 634
Grenadier Guards 8D 568
Hampshire Carabiniers 1A 1
Hampshire Regiment 7C & 7B 611
Herefordshire Regiment 12C 3
Hertfordshire Regiment 12C 22
Highland Light Infantry 15C 1,161
Honourable Artillery Company 8A 47
Household Battalion 1A 7
Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion 12C 2
3rd (King's Own) Hussars 1A 1
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars 1A 1
8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars 1A 1
10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars 1A 3
20th Hussars 1A 2
Irish Guards 7D 216
1st King Edward's Horse 1A 3
2nd King Edward's Horse 1A 1
King's Liverpool Regiment 1D, 8B & 8C 2,166
King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment 5D & 12B 693
King's Own Scottish Borderers 4A & 4D 628
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 11C & 12A 1,374
King's Royal Rifle Corps 13A & 13B 1,675
King's Shropshire Light Infantry 12A & 12D 521
Labour Corps 5C 1
Lancashire Fusiliers 3C & 3D 1,702
5th (Royal Irish) Lancers 1A 1
9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 1A 9
17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers 1A 1
21st (Empress of India'a) Lancers 1A 2
Leicestershire Regiment 2C & 3A 843
Leicestershire Yeomanry 1A 3
Leinster Regiment 16C 113
1st Life Guards 1A 5
2nd Life Guards 1A 1
Lincolnshire Regiment 1C 834
1st Bn London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 16B 236
2nd Bn London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 16B 237
3rd Bn London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 9D 122
4th Bn London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 9D 185
5th Bn London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) 9D 461
6th Bn London Regiment (Rifles) 9D 164
7th Bn London Regiment  9D 138
8th Bn London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) 9C & 9D 177
9th Bn London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles) 9C 373
10th Bn London Regiment (Hackney) 9C 8
11th Bn London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles) 9C 14
12th Bn London Regiment (Rangers) 9C 309
13th Bn London Regiment (Kensingtons) 9C 133
14thBn London Regiment (London Scottish) 9C & 13C 301
15th Bn London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles) 13C 198
16th Bn London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles) 13C 278
17th Bn London Regiment (Poplar & Stepney Rifles) 13C 109
18th Bn London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) 13C 63
19th Bn London Regiment (St Pancras) 13C 122
20th Bn London Regiment (Blackheath & Woolwich) 13C 124
21st Bn London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles) 13C 162
22nd Bn London Regiment (Queen's) 12C & 13C 98
23rd Bn London Regiment  12C 198
24th Bn London Regiment (Queen's) 12C 105
25th Bn London Regiment (Cyclists) 12C 2
28th Bn London Regiment (Artists Rifles) 12C 31
Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 11A 902
Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) 5C 4
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 5C & 12C 1,189
Machine Gun Corps (Motor) 5C 8
Manchester Regiment 13A & 14C 1,877
Middlesex Regiment 12D & 13B 1,944
Monmouthshire Regimet 16B 51
Norfolk Regiment 1C & 1D 775
Norfolk Yeomanry 1A 2
Northamptonshire Regiment 11A & 11D 606
Northern Cyclist Battalion 12C 2
North Staffordshire Regiment 14B & 14C 458
Northumberland Fusiliers 10B, 11B & 12B 2,931
Northumberland Hussars 1A 2
Notts & Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) 10C, 10D & 11A 1,484
Oxs & Bucks Light Infantry 10A & 10D 654
Oxfordshire Hussars 1A 4
The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 5D & 6D 762
The Rifle Brigade 16B & 16C 1,494
Royal Army Chaplain's Department 4C 2
Royal Army Medical Corps  4C 135
Royal Army Ordnance Corps 4C 1
Royal Army Service Corps 4C & 5C 10
Royal Army Veterinary Corps 4C 1
Royal Berkshire Regiment 11D 981
Royal Dublin Fusiliers 16C 435
Royal Engineers 8A & 8D 503
Royal Fusiliers 8C, 9A & 16A 2,502
Royal Garrison Artillery 8A 66
Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery 1A & 8A 548
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 4D & 5B 842
Royal Irish Fusiliers 15A 347
Royal Irish Regiment 3A 283
Royal Irish Rifles 15A & 15B 1,194
Royal Marines 1A 170
Royal Munster Fusiliers 16C 233
Royal Navy 1A 3
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 1A 622
Royal North Devon Hussars 1A 1
Royal Scots 6D & 7D 1,116
Royal Scots Fusiliers 3C 495
Royal Sussex Regiment 7C 736
Royal Warwickshire Regiment 9A, 9B & 10B 1,803
Royal Welch Fusiliers 4A 923
Royal West Kent Regiment 11C 824
Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry 1A 1
Seaforth Highlanders 15C 463
Scots Guards 7D 214
Shropshire Yeomanry 1A 10
Somerset Light Infantry 2A 580
South Irish Horse 1A 3
South Lancashire Regiment 7A & 7B 623
South Staffordshire Regiment 7B 604
South Wales Borderers 4A 408
Suffolk Regiment 1C & 2A 1,108
Sussex Yeomanry 1A 4
Welch Regiment 7A & 10A 704
Welsh Guards 7D 120
West Kent Yeomanry 1A 14
West Yorkshire Regiment 2A, 2C & 2D 1,753
Wiltshire Regiment 13A 322
Worcestershire Regiment 5A & 6C 932
York & Lancaster Regiment 14A & 14B 1,172
Yorkshire Regiment 3A & 3D 925
1st Regiment South African Infantry 4C 213
2nd Regiment South African Infantry 4C 256
3rd Regiment South African Infantry 4C 197
4th Regiment South African Infantry 4C 192
West India Regiment 4C 1

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©Paul Reed 2001/4

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