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Remembered Today:

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About this blog

I've visited over 300 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries, and dozens of Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. (counterpart to the CWGC) cemeteries in the Western Front, and they all hold two things in common for me - they are uniquely beautiful, and they never cease to move me. It is both a profoundly disturbing and rewarding experience to be surrounded by so many souls whose lives were cut way too short, in all too often horrifying circumstances. If you never get the chance to visit these cemeteries in person, I hope your virtual-visit gives you an appreciation for the manner in which these men and women are cared for, in perpetuity by representatives of the CWGC and volunteers of the humanitarian organization Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.. This blog also contains videos of various ceremonies in Europe and Canada, with a particular emphasis on the Great War Centenary (2014-2018).  We Will Remember Them.

Entries in this blog

 

Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof Virton-Bellevue

Von den neun Friedhöfen, die ursprünglich in diesem Gebiet existierten, ist nur noch dieser erhalten. Viele Gefallene wurden 1957 vom Volksbund umgebettet. Hier ruhen 1.288 gefallene Deutsche und 288 gefallene Franzosen sowie 28 Österreicher, 29 Italiener und 17 Russen des Ersten Weltkrieges.

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Chapel Corner Cemetery, Sauchy-Lestrée

Sauchy-Lestrée was captured by the 56th (London) Division on 27 September 1918, and the cemetery was made and used by fighting units during the following five weeks. It contained 50 burials at the Armistice, and others were then added from the surrounding battlefields and from the following cemeteries:- EPINOY ROAD CEMETERY, EPINOY, was on the road from Sauchy-Lestrée to Epinoy, just West of the point where it crosses the road from Sauchy-Cauchy to Haynecourt. It was made by fighting units, and

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Foncquevillers Military Cemetery

In 1915 and 1916 the Allied front line ran between Foncquevillers and Gommecourt. The cemetery was begun by French troops, and taken over by Commonweatlh forces. It remained in use by units and field ambulances until March 1917, the burials in July 1916 (particularly in Plot I, Row L) being especially numerous. The cemetery was used again from March to August 1918, when the German offensive brought the front line back to nearly the old position. Seventy-four graves were brought in after the Armi

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Schaffen Communal Cemetery

The British Expeditionary Force was involved in the later stages of the defence of Belgium following the German invasion in May 1940, and suffered many casualties in covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. Commonwealth forces did not return until September 1944, but in the intervening years, many airmen were shot down or crashed in raids on strategic objectives in Belgium, or while returning from missions over Germany. Schaffen Communal Cemetery contains the graves of 20 Commonwealth airmen of the S

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A. I. F. Burial Ground, Flers

Flers was captured on 15 September 1916, in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, when it was entered by the New Zealand and 41st Divisions behind tanks, the innovative new weapons that were used here for the first time. The village was lost during the German advance of March 1918 and retaken at the end of the following August by the 10th West Yorks and the 6th Dorsets of the 17th Division. The cemetery was begun by Australian medical units, posted in the neighbouring caves, in November 1916-February

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New Irish Farm Cemetery

New Irish Farm Cemetery was first used from August to November 1917 and was named after a nearby farm, known to the troops as 'Irish Farm' (originally there was an Irish Farm Cemetery immediately South of the Farm. New Irish Farm Cemetery is about 300 metres North of the Farm at a crossing once known as Hammond's Corner). It was used again in April and May 1918 and at the Armistice it contained just 73 burials - the three irregular rows of Plot I - but was then greatly enlarged when more than 4,

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La Laiterie Military Cemetery

The cemetery, named from a dairy farm, was begun in November 1914 and used until October 1918 by units holding this sector of the front. The different plots were, to a great extent, treated as regimental burial grounds; the majority of the graves in Plots II, III and X, for instance, were those of the 26th, 25th and 24th Canadian Infantry Battalions, respectively, and all but one of the graves in Plot VIII are those of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers. On 25 April 1918, the cemetery fell into Ge

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Buffs Road Cemetery

Buffs Road was the name given to a small lane, which ran between Boundary Road and Admiral's Road, just to the north of the hamlet of Wieltje.  The cemetery was made and used by fighting units (in particular by the 12th, 13th and 14th Royal Sussex and the Royal Artillery) between July 1917 and March 1918, and after the Armistice graves were brought into it (Row EE and part of Row from the battlefields and one British officer, who fell in 1915, was brought in from Brielen Churchyard.  There are

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Seaforth Cemetery (Cheddar Villa)

Cheddar Villa was the name given by the Army to a farm on the west side of the road from Wieltje to St. Julien. On 25 and 26 April 1915, during the Battle of St. Julien, severe fighting took place in this area and the Commonwealth dead were buried on the spot. The cemetery thus created was called Cheddar Villa Cemetery, but at the request of the Officer Commanding the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders its name was changed in 1922; more than 100 of those buried in the cemetery belonged to that battalion.

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Cuesmes Communal Cemetery

Cuesmes Communal Cemetery contains 47 Commonwealth burials of the Great War, 38 of which are unidentified. The casualties date from August 1914 (some of the very first casualties of the Great War) and October-December 1918 (some of the last casualties), and in most cases they were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice.  

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Arras Road Cemetery

Roclincourt was just within the British lines before the Battles of Arras, 1917; the 51st (Highland) and 34th Divisions advanced from the village on the 9th April, 1917, and the 1st Canadian Division attacked on their left, across the Lens road. Arras Road Cemetery was begun by the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade soon after the 9th April, 1917, and until the Armistice it contained only the graves (now at the back of the cemetery) of 71 officers and men of the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Briti

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Packhorse Farm Shrine Cemetery

Wulverghem (now Wulvergem) was the scene of a German gas attack on the night of 29-30 April 1916 which was repulsed by the 3rd and 24th Division.  The village was captured by the Germans on 14 April 1918 and reoccupied by the 30th Division on the following 2 September.  Packhorse Farm was the name given to a farm on the east side of the most direct road from Lindenhoek to Wulverghem, and a little south of it was a wayside shrine, later rebuilt nearer to the farm.  The cemetery was one of two mad

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St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens

During part of August 1914, Amiens was the British Advanced Base. It was captured by the Germans on 31 August, and retaken by the French on the following 13 September. The German offensive which began in March 1918 had Amiens for at least one of its objectives but the Battle of Amiens (8 - 11 August 1918) is the Allied name for the action by which the counter offensive, the Advance to Victory, was begun. The 7th General Hospital was at Amiens in August 1914; the 56th (South Midland) Casualty Cle

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L'Homme Mort British Cemetery

The hamlet of L'Homme Mort saw fighting in March and August 1918. Plot I, Row A, of the cemetery was made in August 1918; the rest of this Plot and the whole of Plot II were formed after the Armistice when 152 graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields. The cemetery now contains 166 burials of the Great War, 104 of them unidentified.

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Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy

Buissy was reached by the Third Army on 2 September 1918, after the storming of the Drocourt-Queant line, and it was evacuated by the Germans on the following day. Queant Cemetery was made by the 2nd and 57th Casualty Clearing Stations in October and November 1918. It then consisted of 71 graves (now Plot I, Rows A and B), but was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when 2200 graves were brought in from the battlefields of 1917-1918 between Arras and Bapaume, and from smaller burial grounds in

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Chauny Communal Cemetery British Extension

The Extension was made after the Armistice for the burial of remains brought in from the battlefields of the Aisne and from the following smaller cemeteries in the surrounding countryside. There are just over 1,000 Great War casualties commemorated in this site. The majority of them died in 1918; most of the rest died in September, 1914. Included the total figure are 6 soldiers of the United Kingdom whose identity had been established with reasonable, but not absolute certainty and who are comme

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Ancre British Cemetery

The village of Beaumont-Hamel was attacked on 1 July 1916 by the 29th Division, with the 4th on its left and the 36th (Ulster) on its right, but without success. On 3 September a further attack was delivered between Hamel and Beaumont-Hamel and on 13 and 14 November, the 51st (Highland), 63rd (Royal Naval), 39th and 19th (Western) Divisions finally succeeded in capturing Beaumont-Hamel, Beaucourt-sur-Ancre and St. Pierre-Divion. Following the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in the sprin

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Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension

Lebucquiere village was occupied by Commonwealth forces on 19 March 1917, following the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. It was recaptured by the Germans on 23 March 1918, after fierce resistance by the 19th (Western) Division, and was finally reoccupied by the 5th Division on 3 September 1918. The communal cemetery extension was begun on 24 March 1917 and was used by the 1st Australian Division and other units for almost a year. After the reoccupation of the village in September 1918,

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Hangard Communal Cemetery Extension Revisited

At the end of March 1918, Hangard was at the junction of the French and Commonwealth forces defending Amiens. From 4 to 25 April, the village and Hangard Wood were the scene of incessant fighting, in which the line was held and the 18th Division were particularly heavily engaged. On 8 August, the village was cleared by the 1st and 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. The original extension to the communal cemetery was made by the Canadian Corps in August 1918. It consisted of 51 graves in the present Pl

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Hedge Row Trench Cemetery

The commune of Zillebeke contains many Commonwealth cemeteries as the front line trenches ran through it during the greater part of the Great War. Hedge Row Trench Cemetery was begun in March 1915 and used until August 1917, sometimes under the name of Ravine Wood Cemetery. The cemetery suffered very severely from shell fire, and after the Armistice the positions of the individual graves could not be found or reconstructed. The headstones are therefore arranged symmetrically round the Cross of S

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Ramillies British Cemetery

The village of Ramillies was captured by the Canadian Corps on the night of 8-9 October 1918. The original cemetery contained 93 graves dating from 30 September to 17 October but after the Armistice, further graves were brought into the cemetery. Ramillies British Cemetery now contains 180 Great War burials. The cemetery was designed by W C Von Berg.

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Chester Farm Cemetery

Chester Farm was the name given to a farm about 1 Km South of Blauwepoort Farm, on the road from Zillebeke to Voormezeele. The cemetery was begun in March 1915 and was used by front line troops until November 1917. Plot I contains the graves of 92 officers and men of the 2nd Manchesters, who died in April-July 1915 and there are 72 London Regiment burials elsewhere in the Cemetery. There are 420 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in this cemetery. Seven of the burials are unidentifie

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Sanctuary Wood Cemetery Revisited

Sanctuary Wood is one of the larger woods in the commune of Zillebeke. It was named in November 1914, when it was used to screen troops behind the front line. It was the scene of fighting in September 1915 and was the centre of the Battle of Mount Sorrel (2-13 June 1916) involving the 1st and 3rd Canadian Divisions. There were three Commonwealth cemeteries at Sanctuary Wood before June 1916, all made in May-August 1915. The first two were on the western end of the wood, the third in a clearing f

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Ottawa (Beechwood) Cemetery, Great War Burials & Memorials

Ottawa (Beechwood) Cemetery contains 99 Commonwealth burials of the Great War and 113 from the Second World War. Many of the graves are in two veterans plots, with the Cross of Sacrifice dedicated to all service casualties buried in the cemetery, located in the newer plot. The Ottawa Cremation Memorial is in a shelter adjoining the newer of the veterans plots in the cemetery and commemorates 26 Second World War servicmen whose remains were cremated elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.A. Many Great W

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Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery Extension

Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery was used by units and field ambulances from June 1915 to February 1916. It contains 108 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 24 French war graves. The adjoining Communal Cemetery Extension was begun by the 16th (Irish) Division in April 1916 and was used until October 1918. It contains 248 Commonwealth burials of the Great War and two German graves. The extension was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

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