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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

 

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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R. E. Farm Cemetery

R. E.  Farm Cemetery.  Wytschaete (now Wijtschate) was in Allied hands until 1 November 1914, from June 1917 to April 1918, and from 28 September 1918 onwards. It was the scene of exceptionally severe fighting in November 1914 and April 1918. "R.E. Farm" was the military name given to the Ferme des douze Bonniers. This building remained in Allied hands until April 1918. In December 1914 the 1st Dorsets began a cemetery (No.1) on the east side of the farm, which was used by fighting units and fie

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Potijze Château Lawn and Grounds Cemeteries

Potijze Château Lawn and Grounds Cemeteries (The Potijze Chateau Cemeteries). The old chateau grounds at Potijze are the site of three Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries containing over 850 Commonwealth burials of the Great War. Potijze Chateau Grounds, Potijze Chateau Lawn, and Potijze Chateau Wood cemeteries were all formed in the spring of 1915 and used for the burial of Commonwealth soldiers until 1918. The architectural features of the cemeteries were designed by Sir Reginald Blo

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Potijze Château Wood Cemetery

Potijze Château Wood Cemetery. The Potijze Chateau Cemeteries. The old chateau grounds at Potijze are the site of three Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries containing over 850 Commonwealth burials of the Great War. Potijze Chateau Grounds, Potijze Chateau Lawn, and Potijze Chateau Wood cemeteries were all formed in the spring of 1915 and used for the burial of Commonwealth soldiers until 1918. The architectural features of the cemeteries were designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in the 1

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Potijze Burial Ground

Potijze Burial Ground. Potijze was within the Allied lines during practically the whole of the First Word War and although subject to incessant shell fire, Potijze Chateau contained an Advanced Dressing Station. Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery was used from April 1915 to October 1918. There are now 584 Commonwealth burials of the Great War within the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

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Warlencourt British Cemetery

Warlencourt, the Butte de Warlencourt and Eaucourt-L'Abbaye were the scene of very fierce fighting in 1916. Eaucourt was taken by the 47th (London) Division early in October. The Butte (a Roman mound of excavated chalk, about 17 metres high, once covered with pines) was attacked by that and other divisions, but it was not relinquished by the Germans until the following 26 February, when they withdrew to the Hindenburg Line. The 51st (Highland) Division fought a delaying action here on 25 March 1

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Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery

Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery.  This cemetery was made by the 23rd Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery, on 26 and 27 October 1918. It contained originally 111 graves, mainly of officers and men of the 38th (Welsh) and 33rd Divisions, and the 6th Dorsets, but after the Armistice it was increased when graves were brought in from the battlefields west, north and east of Montay, and from certain small cemeteries. There are now 470 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the Great War in this cemete

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Wieltje Farm Cemetery

Wieltje Farm Cemetery was made and used by fighting units (in particular by the 2nd/4th Gloucesters) in July-October 1917. There are now 115 Commonwealth servicemen of the Great War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 10 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to 20 casualties whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. There is also one German war grave. The cemetery was designed by A J S Hutton.  

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Brussels Town Cemetery

Brussels Town Cemetery.  Brussels was in German hands from 20 August 1914 to the date of the Armistice. Plot X of the cemetery contains the graves of 54 Commonwealth casualties, 50 of which were prisoners of war whose bodies were brought back from Germany by the Canadian Corps in April 1919. 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. Commo

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