To some visitors, the Commission's memorials are of even greater importance, and more moving than the cemeteries, because the dead they commemorate are totally lost. In some theatres there is just one memorial. In others, such as the Western Front, several can be visited in a single day, representing well over 100,000 Commonwealth war dead. The fact that these men do not have known or marked graves must have made their deaths even harder for their relatives to bear.
The Commission's memorials are not standard, except in one particular--they all bear names. These may be of those with no known grave; lost or buried at sea; cremated and whose ashes were scattered, as opposed to buried; or whose grave cannot be maintained. The following brief description and notes pertain almost completely to the first two categories--that is, no known grave or lost or buried at sea. They will be taken in the order of naval, land, and air.
There are about 200 memorials to the 750,000 missing of the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 Wars, but it must be remembered that not all memorials commemorate great numbers. For example, the Zeebrugge Memorial in the churchyard of that name in Belgium bears just four names--one the holder of the Victoria Cross. Each memorial has its own register of names, containing an Introduction, as is the case of the war cemeteries. The numbers of dead commemorated in the following descriptions are rounded as appropriate. Following the section on Merchant Navy memorials are Notes on Additional Memorials in very brief form (again in sections by countries) on other sites well worth a visit.