Cemeteries

On or near the frontline many cemeteries were created for the fallen. When time allowed the men ensured that their comrades got the honour they deserved and created beautiful graves. The Germans especially made beautiful engraved headstones of which many still remain today.

On the Somme and the Ypres Salient where the British and other Commonwealth troops fought many small cemeteries can be found. The British usually buried the men where they had fallen in battle. Originally the graves had wooden crosses, now they have the beautiful headstones as directed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commision. On certain parts in the Somme, if you stand on the frontline of the Somme Battle of July 1st 1916, you can actually follow the line of attack of the British by the small cemeteries dotted around the landscape.

Other cemeteries like the ones next to hospitals were filled after the war with bodies dug up from the battlefields. A good example of this is Tyne Cot cemetery near Ypres where the original stones are standing around the Cross of Sacrifice in a disorderly fasion. These graves were dug during the war. The many other headstones which stand in orderly rows are of soldiers re-buried there from other places after the fighting had stopped.

© IWM (Q 3115)Memorial erected by a company of the Landwehr Infantry Regiment 39 to two comrades who fell in the fighting at Mercatel on 20 June 1915, Boixleux-au-Mont cemetery.

Memorial erected by a company of the Landwehr Infantry Regiment 39 to two comrades who fell in the fighting at Mercatel on 20 June 1915,
Boixleux-au-Mont cemetery.
© IWM (Q 3115)

 

 

 

© IWM (Q 1543)Graves of officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the men of the 8th South Staffordshire Regiment, in the Menin Road Cemetery; near Ypres, October 1916.

Graves of officers, N.C.O.’s and men of the men of the 8th South Staffordshire Regiment, in the Menin Road Cemetery; near Ypres, October 1916.
© IWM (Q 1543)

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