The sheer scale of this Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery is difficult to embrace, with almost 12,000 headstones, the majority of which are Unknown Soldiers of the Great War. There are also a number of original German bunkers among the manicured grounds, acting as a reminder of the heritage of the location. The cross of sacrifice sits above a German blockhouse, forming a distinctive feature and focal point for the cemetery.
Tyne Memorial to the Missing forms a crescent of alcoves at the northern end of the site. This is effectively an extension to the Menin Gate and commemorates 35,000 Commonwealth servicemen from the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died after 16 August 1917 in the Ypres salient. Most casualties of these casualties fell during the 3rd Battle of Ypres – or Passchendaele, which is located a mile or so to the north east. The commemorations also continue through 1918.
There are 1,016 Manchester Regiment commemorations at Tyne Cot. Only 90 of these men have known graves. Private 38500 Samuel Ernest Taylor is the only known grave from 17th Battalion. In common with the majority of the cemetery’s burials, his remains were brought in when the battlefield was cleared. Samuel was originally buried near the British front line near Gheluvelt, where the Battalion was posted when he died on 3 December 1917.
There are 926 Manchester Regiment inscriptions on the Tyne Cot Memorial, including 41 members of 17th Battalion. These men fell in the second half of 1917 (primarily December) and during April and May 1918. Some of these men may be buried in the cemetery where they are known unto God.