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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

CWGC - Brussels Town Cemetery


Marilyne

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Hi all,

After finishing my exam - manoeuvre this week (fiiiiiiiinallyyyyy !!!! ) I treated myself to a day for me... but still ... started off with a photo duty promised to one of our pals here on the forum, at the Airmen's field of honour (Pelouse de la Force Aérienne) at Brussels cemetery. I had to find a grave and make some pictures... always happy to oblige !!

Only problem... when you get to the cemetery, first thing you see on the gate is a big sign saying with a camera and a red bar over it... local customs dictate that the photographing of headstones is forbidden, out of respect for the dead. so I first had to explain that I was on a mission, for one specific headstone, and I would do no more, and no, I'm not a journalist. Finally showed him my military ID as a proof, he could always complain at HQ, it's just over the road!

So off I went, first following the signs to the CWGC cemetery, fingers tingling of want to get the camera out at the sight of 200 year old gravestones, completely overgrown or falling apart... they would make such nice black and white pictures !!

Finally got to the cemetery and then thought... I'm on British soil, right?? Somehow... so just took the camera out, because with a sky like that...

post-84394-0-15544000-1397157047_thumb.j

it's mostly WWII burials there, only 54 of WWI, and some IWGC and CWGC workers buried in the place.

A very nice place, so if you're around... don't forget to tell the guardian you're making pictures...

MM.

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Don't know why it's posted twice... doesn't matter...

back to what I came for: the Airmen Field of Honour:

post-84394-0-10703100-1397157685_thumb.j


post-84394-0-99865300-1397157766_thumb.j

MM.

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I have twice had french workers shouting at me when taking photos in cwgc sections of civilian cemeteries. Both times i could make out they were telling me it was banned but just ignored them. I dont know if they understood my suggestions to them.

J

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Hi Marilyne,

This is a very old law which, as far as I am aware, is no longer applied nowadays. I've visited Brussels-Evere many times and never had any problem

whatsoever re. photography. Getting the car inside this extensive cemetery is another matter (just like in Antwerp/Schoonselhof), so asking the custodian for permission before entering is an absolute necessity here.

Halibag

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Halibag,

I'm sorry to contradict you, but if the law's ancient, the plates on the cemetery wall are not, and I can assure you that it's still enforced. A law does not just fall into non-application. you need a newer law for that, and that simply does not exist.

The interpretation of the law may be different. In the sense that personal use is normally OK, if you ask first. they just don't want any "tourism" on the cemeteries, which is understandable.

MM.

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This is from the visitor information section on the CWGC site for Brussels Town Cemetery, "Please Note: Information received from the local authorities at Brussels states that "In accordance with their regulations it is forbidden to photograph headstones, in order to guarantee the anonymity and out of respect to the dead, without prior approval of the local alderman responsible for funerals and burials." However, as the Commission has no objections to photographs being taken or to the filming of our war graves, it is suggested that visitors wishing to do so should make this known to the staff in the office at the entrance of the cemetery."

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Yes, and tell them in a broad Lithuanian accent you've come all the way especially to photograph the plot - that should do the trick!.

But seriously, law or not, I've NEVER had any problem taking pics IN ANY cemetery, be they in France or Belgium. Discretion is the rule here.

Halibag

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