This new memorial was opened on 11 November by President Hollande - and visited by me on the 15th! It's high quality, original, and a 'must' for any visits to the Arras area. Called "L'Anneau de Memoire" - the "Ring of Memory" - it's an oval-shaped enclosure on the hilltop overlooking the slopes up to Notre Dame de Lorette* where the French were fighting in the autumn of 1914 and spring of 1915. You walk around the ring - cut into the ground where you first walk in, but suspended above the hillside as you make your way around - and see panels and panels listing in alphabetical order ALL those who died in the Nord / Pas-de-Calais region in 194-18. 580,000 names, of all nationalities - 40 nationalities in fact. 290,000 - i.e. around half - are British Empire, representing almost all our 'non-Ypres' and 'non-Somme' Western Front losses: Loos, Festubert, Neuve Chapelle, Arras, Cambrai, much of the 100 Days, etc.
Names are strictly alphabetical, with no mention of nationality. This gives a surprising and original perspective - it is so different to the CWGC's Lists of the Missing since on this new memorial there is no distinction by regiment. Thus, ALL the J Smiths are together, as you see in one of the attached photos. You see blocks of names that are clearly French or German or British - then swaths of names where all nationalties are all jumbled up.
You see famous names - John Kipling, Wilfred Own (warning: there are two Wilfred Owns: the poet is Wlfred Edward Salter Owen!) - and, the reason I was there, the names of relatives of UK clients. It's an amazing complement to a Vimy Ridge visit too - obviously, all those Canadians are listed here.
It's smart, respectful, simple, stimulating, and quality - the materials used are first-class.