World War One Cemeteries

World War One Cemeteries

Cemeteries holding the graves of some of the many casualties of the First World War can be found across north-east France and Belgium. They are a testament to the huge losses suffered by both the Allies and Germany, although no memorial holds quite the same impact as the Menin Gate, which demonstrates the scale of the losses through the names engraved along its walls.

The Menin Gate holds so many names, in fact, that they did not all fit on the gate and some had to be engraved on the Wall to the Missing at Tyne Cot near Passchendaele in the Ypres Salient.

These two monuments have been designed and built in honour of the men who died fighting for the Allied cause but have no known grave, and the Menin Gate in particular remains the only memorial cemetery not to hold the gravestones of men who were found.

Tyne Cot cemetery

Following the end of the war in 1918, the British government made the decision not to repatriate the bodies of soldiers killed in battle, hence the number of cemeteries that have been left to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to look after.

On the other hand, the German government decided that they would repatriate most of their bodies. However, there is still a large German cemetery in Langemark in Belgium, which has a distinctly different layout to the Allied equivalents and has the gravestones lying flat, with the remains of a number of Germans in each grave.

MLA Citation/Reference

"World War One Cemeteries". HistoryLearning.com. 2019. Web.