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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

 

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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Knightsbridge Cemetery

The cemetery, which is named from a communication trench, was begun at the outset of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It was used by units fighting on that front until the German withdrawal in February 1917 and was used again by fighting units from the end of March to July 1918, when the German advance brought the front line back to the Ancre. After the Armistice, some burials in Rows G, H and J were added when graves were brought in from isolated positions on the battlefields of 1916 and 1918 r

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Mesnil Ridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart

Mesnil Ridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart.  The cemetery was made by Field Ambulances and fighting units (mainly of the 29th and 36th (Ulster) Divisions) between August 1915 and August, 1916. There are now nearly 100 casualties of the Great War commemorated in this site. The cemetery covers an area of 747 square metres and is enclosed by a stone rubble wall.  Mesnil-Martinsart is a commune in the Department of the Somme, on the right bank of the Ancre, between Albert and Beaumont-Hamel. Using the

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The King's Pilgrimage, 11 - 13 May 1922

The King's Pilgrimage, 11-13 May 1922   Buckingham Palace, May 17, 1922.   Dear Sir Fabian Ware,   The King desires me to thank you again for all the admirable arrangements made by you in connection with the visit to the cemeteries in Belgium and France, and to congratulate your staff on their excellent work. His Majesty was interested to learn the details of the organization of the Commission, and is satisfied that, so long as it is superintended by you and those

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Albert Communal Cemetery Extension

Albert was held by French forces against the German advance on the Somme in September 1914. It passed into British hands in the summer of 1915; and the first fighting in July 1916, is known as the Battle of Albert, 1916. It was captured by the Germans on the 26th April 1918, and before its recapture by the 8th East Surreys on the following 22nd August (in the Battle of Albert, 1918,) it had been completely destroyed by artillery fire. The Extension was used by fighting units and Field Ambulances

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Rossignol Wood Cemetery

Hebuterne village remained in Allied hands from March 1915, to the Armistice, although during the German advances in the summer of 1918, it was practically on the front line. Rossignol Wood was taken by the Germans at the end of March 1918 and recovered in the following July. The cemetery was begun in March 1917, by the 46th Division Burial Officer, about 350 metres to the west of the wood. The German plot was added after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields immediatel

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La Brique Military Cemetery

La Brique Military Cemetery. La Brique is a small hamlet named from an old brick works that used to stand nearby before to the First World War. LA BRIQUE CEMETERY No.2 was begun in February 1915 and used until March 1918. The original cemetery consisted of 383 burials laid out in 25 irregular rows in Plot I. After the Armistice, graves were brought in from the battlefields to create Plot II and extend the original plot. There are now 840 Commonwealth servicemen of the Great War buried or commemo

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Forceville Communal Cemetery and Extension

Forceville Communal Cemetery and Extension.  Located west of the French village of Forceville in the Somme region, the cemetery extension was one of the first three Commission sites to be built after the Great War.  There are more than 300 burials of the Great War in this site, three of them in the communal cemetery adjoining the cemetery.  The cemetery extension was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield who was the Principal Architect for France for the Commission.  Sir Frederic Kenyon, Director o

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Tranchee de Mecknes Cemetery

Tranchee de Mecknes Cemetery.  The cemetery was begun by French troops in May 1915, and the trench, and consequently the cemetery, were named from the Arab version of the town of Mequinez in Morocco, from which these troops had come. The cemetery was taken over by British units in February 1916, and besides its present name it was called at times Pioneer Point, Mechanics Trench and Corons d'Aix. There are now 199 Commonwealth burials of the Great War commemorated in this site, three being uniden

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Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blangy

Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blangy.  A greater part of the village was included in the front taken over by British troops in March 1916, and the remainder fell into British hands on the first day of the Battles of Arras, the 9th April 1917. Bailleul Road East Cemetery was begun by the 34th Division in April 1917, and carried on by fighting units until the following November; and Plot I, Row R, was added in August 1918. Plots II, III, IV and V were made after the Armistice by the con

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Ste Catherine British Cemetery

Ste Catherine British Cemetery. From March 1916 to the Armistice, Ste. Catherine was occupied by Commonwealth forces and for much of that time it was within the range of German artillery fire. The cemetery was started in March 1916 and used by the divisions and field ambulances stationed on that side of Arras until the autumn of 1917. The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the surrounding area. Ste Catherine British Cemetery contains 339 Great War burials.

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Tyne Cot Cemetery, Part I

Tyne Cot Cemetery, Part I.  Near the town of Ieper in Belgium is Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world. It is now the resting place of more than 11,900 servicemen of the British Empire and a lone identified soldier of the German Army from the Great War. This area on the Western Front was the scene of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele; it was one of the major battles of the Great War.

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Petit-Vimy British Cemetery

Petit-Vimy British Cemetery.  Vimy is a village some 10 kilometres north of Arras and the Petit-Vimy British Cemetery is west of the village and a little west of the main road (N25) from Lens to Arras.  The cemetery was made and used by units in the front line from the beginning of May to October 1917. In 1923, it was enlarged with graves found on the battlefields to the north-west, and there are now three Canadians buried here from the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  Petit-Vimy British Cemetery contains

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