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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.

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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 unidentified, but special memorials commemorate six casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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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 further east. All were practically obliterated in the Battle of Mount Sorrel, but traces of the second were found and it became the nucleus of the present Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. At the Armistice, the cemetery contained 137 graves. From 1927 to 1932, Plots II-V were added and the cemetery extended as far as 'Maple Avenue', when graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields. They came mainly from the communes immediately surrounding Ypres, but a few were taken from Nieuport (on the coast) and smaller cemeteries. Most of these burials were from the 1914 Battles of Ypres and the Allied offensive of the autumn of 1917. There are now 1,989 Commonwealth servicemen of the Great War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 1,353 of the burials are unidentified. Many graves, in all five plots, are identified in groups but not individually. In Plot I is buried Lieutenant G.W.L. Talbot, in whose memory Talbot House at Poperinghe was established in December 1915. The first list of the graves was made by his brother the Reverend N.S. Talbot, MC, later Bishop of Pretoria. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

ejwalshe

 

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 War burials are scattered throughout Canada's second largest cemetery. This video is dedicated to the men and women of the Great War. Inscription of Private Frederick A. Wylde: To Live in Hearts We Leave Behind is Not to Die.

 

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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 round Mesnil. Knightsbridge Cemetery contains 548 Great War burials, 141 of them unidentified. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

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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 D929 from Bapaume to Albert, continue until you reach La Boisselle where there is a right turn signposted to Aveluy on the D20. Upon entering Aveluy continue straight until the crossroads where you should turn right to Beamont-Hamel. Continue for 4 kilometres and then take the left turning to Mesnil Martinsart.  On reaching Mesnil village, take the first right turn and then the first right turn again where a rough road will take you 1.5 kilometres to the cemetery.

ejwalshe

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 who so loyally assist you, the public here and Overseas can rest assured that the graves, wherever they may be, will be properly cared for.

 

The King hopes you will take an opportunity of telling the members of the Imperial War Graves Commission how much he appreciated their presence at the ceremony at Terlincthun. His Majesty also wishes you to say that he trusts the High Commissioner and other representatives of the Dominions will convey to their Governments and people the great satisfaction he expressed to them personally at Etaples at the care bestowed by the Commission on the graves of those who lie so far from their homes. In all the cemeteries visited by His Majesty, Dominion and British graves lay side by side, and the King assures the people Overseas that these graves will be reverently and lovingly guarded. It is a satisfaction to His Majesty that the Imperial War Graves Commission has been so constituted that these graves may be honoured for all time.

 

The King was impressed by the ability and efficiency of the gardeners in the service of the Commission, and desires that his appreciation may be expressed to them of the manner in which they carry out their precious charge. Although the completion of these cemeteries must necessarily take some time, especially in the still-devastated areas, they may continue their work with the full conviction that they are earning the deep gratitude of the relatives and friends of those whose graves they tend.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

F. E. G. Ponsonby.

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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 from August 1915 to November 1916, and more particularly in and after September 1916, when Field Ambulances were concentrated at Albert. From November 1916, the 5th Casualty Clearing Station used it for two months. From March 1917, it was not used (except for four burials in March, 1918) until the end of August 1918, when Plot II was made by the 18th Division. During the Second World War the extension was used again, when the French moved into it British casualties from isolated graves in and around Albert. There are now 862 Great War and 25 Second World War casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, 12 Great War casualties and 8 Second World War casualties are unidentified. Five graves, destroyed by shellfire, are now represented by special memorials. Two soldiers known to be among the casualties buried here, but whose graves could not be identified, are commemorated by special memorials, inscribed, "Known to be buried in this cemetery".  This cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.  Several notable burials are here, including Major Gordon Hamilton Southam, sixth son of Canadian newspaper publisher William Southam; Brigadier-General Henry Clifford (son of Major General The Hon. Sir Henry Clifford, VC, KCMG, CB), Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Carl Buchanan DSO, Lieutenant-Colonel Roland Playfair Campbell, and Lieutenant-Colonel Robert McDonnell Thomson. 

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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 immediately to the south and south-west. The cemetery contains 41 Commonwealth burials of the Great War, two of them are unidentified. There are also 70 German war graves, 42 being unidentified. The cemetery was designed by N A Rew.

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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 commemorated in this cemetery. 400 of the burials are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate four casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Across the road is LA BRIQUE CEMETERY No.1, which was begun in May 1915 and used until the following December. It contains 91 Great War burials, four of them unidentified. Both cemeteries were designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

ejwalshe

 

 

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 of the British Museum, wrote of the cemetery that ‘the wall fades away into nothing in part of the surroundings', giving a pleasant effect of an English country churchyard. 

ejwalshe

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 unidentified and a special memorial is erected to one soldier from the United Kingdom whose grave cannot now be found.  There are 171 French and 2 German burials here.  The British part of the cemetery covers an area of 1,129 square metres.  The cemetery is in the middle of fields and can only be accessed via farm tracks, which can be difficult to negotiate under bad weather conditions.  The best track to use is the Chemin de Bully from the village of Angres.

 

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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 concentration of isolated graves from a very wide area North, East and South of Arras and from  two burial grounds.  There are now over 1,000 Great War war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over half are unidentified, and seven special memorials record the names of soldiers from the United Kingdom buried in Northumberland Cemetery, Fampoux, whose graves could not be found on concentration; and a number of graves in Plot V, identified as a whole but not individually, are marked by headstones bearing the additional words, "Buried near this spot". Every year of the war is represented in the cemetery, but more particularly the last nine months of 1917. The cemetery covers an area of 4,486 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall.

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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. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

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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 94 Great War burials, 23 of them unidentified.  The cemetery was designed by W H Cowlishaw.

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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 field ambulances until April 1916, and occasionally in 1917. In January 1915, the same battalion began another cemetery (No.2) on the west side of the farm. This cemetery was little used and after the Armistice, the 23 graves it contained were moved into No.1, which was then renamed. R.E. Farm Cemetery contains 179 Great War burials, 11 of them unidentified. The cemetery was designed by W C Von Berg.

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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 Blomfield in the 1920s. Potijze during the Great War For almost the entire period of the Great War the village of Potijze was held by the Commonwealth forces but stood directly behind the Allied trenches and was well within range of German guns. It was here that soldiers entered the communication and support trenches that led to the front-line. Although badly damaged by constant shell fire, Potijze Chateau, a country house dating from the nineteenth century, remained occupied and used by Commonwealth troops throughout the war. In the spring of 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, it was headquarters of the 27th Division, then under the command of Major-General Thomas D’Oyly Snow. The ground floor was later used as an Advanced Dressing Station while the first floor, which commanded views of the German lines, served as an observation post. For much of the war the Chateau was surrounded by a cluster of dug-outs and trenches and a large shed on the grounds, known to soldiers as ‘Lancer Farm’, housed ammunition and trench stores. Working parties would pause here to collect tools, coils of barbed wire, duckboards, bombs and other supplies before moving up the line. There was particularly heavy fighting in the vicinity of Potijze in August 1917 during the opening phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as ‘Passchendaele’. A young officer serving with the Manchester Regiment later recalled the devastation caused to the landscape around the Chateau by the relentless British and German artillery fire: 'This was a country where the desire to kill and destroy had developed to an unimaginable intensity. Nothing of use was to be left by either side, and every yard of ground almost was searched by the gunners to carry out their cruel game.' Yet Potijze was never a quiet sector. On 9 August 1916, as the Somme offensive raged further south, the first and second battalions of the Hampshire Regiment spent ten days in trenches just east of the Chateau. As they were preparing to leave the Germans staged a surprise attack using a potent form of phosgene gas. Both units were caught unawares and although no ground was conceded the regiment suffered over 240 casualties, about half of whom were killed. The 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were stationed on the same stretch of front and also suffered numerous gas casualties. Over 60 men who fell in the attack are buried in rows A, E, and F of Chateau Wood Cemetery. Edmund Blunden, a young English officer serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment, was stationed here at the beginning of 1917. He later recalled the atmosphere of Potijze during the third winter of the war: 'The new year was yet very young when the battalion filed through Ypres to take over the trenches at Potijze, which we came to know very well. It was not the worst place in the Salient. I had seen it already, and its arrangement was simple – a breastwork front line, running from Zonnebeke road to a railway bank on the south; a support line; two good (or not too bad) communication trenches – Haymarket and Piccadilly, Battalion headquarters dugout was near Potijze Château, beside the road. It boasted a handsome cheval-glass and a harmonium, but not a satisfactory roof. This headquarters also enjoyed a kind of Arcadian environment, for the late owner had constructed two or three ponds in the grounds with white airy bridges spanning them, weeping willows at their marges, and there were even statues of Venus and other handsome deities on little eminences, although I did not examine them closely. The château itself, much injured as it was, was not destroyed, and in the upper storey my observers gazed through a telescope on a dubious landscape; lucky these, whose day could not begin before eight, and ended at four with the thickening of what little light there had been. Littered on the damp floor beside them were maps of parts of the estate, some of a great age, and log-books of the number of woodcock, hares, rabbits and I forget what, formerly laid low by shooting parties of this fine house.' In the decades after the war, Blunden became a celebrated poet and author, and his memoir, Undertones of War, is considered a classic of Great War literature. In the 1960s he acted as a commissioner with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

ejwalshe

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 1920s. Potijze during the Great War For almost the entire period of the Great War the village of Potijze was held by the Commonwealth forces but stood directly behind the Allied trenches and was well within range of German guns. It was here that soldiers entered the communication and support trenches that led to the front-line. Although badly damaged by constant shell fire, Potijze Chateau, a country house dating from the nineteenth century, remained occupied and used by Commonwealth troops throughout the war. In the spring of 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, it was headquarters of the 27th Division, then under the command of Major-General Thomas D’Oyly Snow. The ground floor was later used as an Advanced Dressing Station while the first floor, which commanded views of the German lines, served as an observation post. For much of the war the Chateau was surrounded by a cluster of dug-outs and trenches and a large shed on the grounds, known to soldiers as ‘Lancer Farm’, housed ammunition and trench stores. Working parties would pause here to collect tools, coils of barbed wire, duckboards, bombs and other supplies before moving up the line. There was particularly heavy fighting in the vicinity of Potijze in August 1917 during the opening phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as ‘Passchendaele’. A young officer serving with the Manchester Regiment later recalled the devastation caused to the landscape around the Chateau by the relentless British and German artillery fire: 'This was a country where the desire to kill and destroy had developed to an unimaginable intensity. Nothing of use was to be left by either side, and every yard of ground almost was searched by the gunners to carry out their cruel game.' Yet Potijze was never a quiet sector. On 9 August 1916, as the Somme offensive raged further south, the first and second battalions of the Hampshire Regiment spent ten days in trenches just east of the Chateau. As they were preparing to leave the Germans staged a surprise attack using a potent form of phosgene gas. Both units were caught unawares and although no ground was conceded the regiment suffered over 240 casualties, about half of whom were killed. The 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were stationed on the same stretch of front and also suffered numerous gas casualties. Over 60 men who fell in the attack are buried in rows A, E, and F of Chateau Wood Cemetery. Edmund Blunden, a young English officer serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment, was stationed here at the beginning of 1917. He later recalled the atmosphere of Potijze during the third winter of the war: 'The new year was yet very young when the battalion filed through Ypres to take over the trenches at Potijze, which we came to know very well. It was not the worst place in the Salient. I had seen it already, and its arrangement was simple – a breastwork front line, running from Zonnebeke road to a railway bank on the south; a support line; two good (or not too bad) communication trenches – Haymarket and Piccadilly, Battalion headquarters dugout was near Potijze Château, beside the road. It boasted a handsome cheval-glass and a harmonium, but not a satisfactory roof. This headquarters also enjoyed a kind of Arcadian environment, for the late owner had constructed two or three ponds in the grounds with white airy bridges spanning them, weeping willows at their marges, and there were even statues of Venus and other handsome deities on little eminences, although I did not examine them closely. The château itself, much injured as it was, was not destroyed, and in the upper storey my observers gazed through a telescope on a dubious landscape; lucky these, whose day could not begin before eight, and ended at four with the thickening of what little light there had been. Littered on the damp floor beside them were maps of parts of the estate, some of a great age, and log-books of the number of woodcock, hares, rabbits and I forget what, formerly laid low by shooting parties of this fine house.' In the decades after the war, Blunden became a celebrated poet and author, and his memoir, Undertones of War, is considered a classic of Great War literature. In the 1960s he acted as a commissioner with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

ejwalshe

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.

ejwalshe

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 1918 during the great German advance, and the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division recaptured the ground on 25 August 1918. The cemetery was made late in 1919 when graves were brought in from small cemeteries and the battlefields of Warlencourt and Le Sars. The largest burial ground moved into this cemetery was:- HEXHAM ROAD CEMETERY, LE SARS, on the West side of the Abbey grounds. (Hexham Road was the name given to the road leading from Warlencourt to Eaucourt. Le Sars was captured by the 23rd Division on 7 October 1916, and again by the Third Army on 25 August 1918.) This cemetery was used from November 1916 to October 1917, and contained the graves of 17 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 13 from Australia. The cemetery now contains 3,505 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the Great War. 1,823 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 55 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate 15 casualties buried in Hexham Road Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

ejwalshe

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 cemetery. 61 of the burials are unidentified but there is a special memorial to one casualty believed to be buried among them. All fell in the period October or November 1918. There is also a plot of 27 German graves within the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Charles Holden.

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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. 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. Most of the Second World War casualties buried in the town cemetery died on lines of communication duties after the liberation of Brussels at the beginning of September 1944, but a few date from the brief period that the BEF spent in Belgium in May 1940. Brussels Town Cemetery contains 54 Commonwealth burials of the Great War and a further 587 from the Second World War, 4 of which are unidentified. There are also 35 Foreign National burials here and 5 Non-world war Service burials (four of these are women).  There are also two servicewomen of the Second World War buried among the Fallen (Private Elizabeth Pearson Easton of the 1st Continental Group, Auxiliary Territorial Service and Private Beatrice Mary Smith, 'E' Coy., 1st Continental Group, Auxiliary Territorial Service), making for a total of seven women buried in this CWGC cemetery.  Paula Maria Gamble (nee Affenaer), and Anna White (nee Wachtelaer) were wives of men working for the Imperial War Graves Commission also buried in this cemetery.  Margaret Mary Coyne-Davey, N.A. A.F.I., died 14 February 1946 and is buried along the outer perimeter, yet civilian Doris Sullivan, who died in 28 July 1944, is mysteriously buried close to the Fallen, not far from the Cross of Sacrifice.  More mysterious, is the grave of civilian Ruth Margaret Sowerby, buried between two Dutch and Canadian soldiers. 

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