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Brussels Town Cemetery

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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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