DescriptionThe cemetery lies on the south side of the trunk road from Cambrai to Bapaume. It is right on the road and is thus clearly visible due to its lower position and because the long side of the cemetery ruins alongside the road.
The entrance building has an open portico with a sitting alcove on either side. The open portico with two pillars and three arches, which is clearly inspired by the Tuscan Renaissance, was also applied on other occasions by Lutyens and Goldsmith, as at H.A.C. Cemetery and Daours Communal Cemetery Extension. But there it was not used as a gateway building. The Tuscan loggia also recurs in the gateway building of Combles Communal Cemetery Extension and, with almost exactly the same proportions, in Rue-Pétillon Military Cemetery. However, these cemeteries have not been attributed to Lutyens but to Baker and Rew. It is more likely that Goldsmith was here the architect in France and had free rein. There is a striking resemblance with a comparable building at the monument in Spalding in England for which Lutyens had been commissioned, outside the auspices of the IWGC. The brick surfaces in Spalding have been realized in stuccowork, however. The building in Spalding was originally intended as a gateway building of a walled cemetery, similar to examples in Italian towns. Due to the high costs, hedges and trees were chosen to bound the cemetery instead of a surrounding wall.
The cemetery lies on a piece of ground sloping down- ward from the road, and is surrounded by a hornbeam hedge. The layout is symmetrical with two axes that are completely perpendicular to one another: the entrance axis with the entrance building and, at right angles, the lateral axis with the War Stone and the Cross of Sacrifice at either end. The War Stone is situated at the east side and the graves are oriented to the road on the north side. The original cemetery, which dates from October 1918 and had 131 graves, was extended with graves from discontinued cemeteries in the vicinity.
The backdrop of the cemetery is formed by seven medium-sized hornbeams and there are eight yews on the three other sides, two of which adjoin the War Stone and the Cross of Sacrifice like sentries. (Geurst, 2010, p.198)
BibliographyGeurst, J. (2010) Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.
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Listing GradeComing soon
ClientImperial War Graves Commission