DescriptionThe cemetery lies just outside Assevillers village, on the east side, right beside the sunken Paris-Lille railway line. Graves were transferred from the battle field of the Somme and from other cemeteries to this eld, which was constructed as late as 1929. In that year it had not yet been included in Sidney Hurst’s book The Silent Cities.
An existing crucifix has been placed in a corner of the level field, on a new plinth derived from the design for the Cross of Sacrifice. The corner with the Cross of Sacrifice is screened from the cemetery by a row of truncated limes. It is not unusual for existing crucifixes to be incorporated in newly constructed cemeteries. An example is Tilloy British Cemetery. However, there the crucifix is an integral part of the composition of the cemetery, which is not the case in Assevillers.
The cemetery is simple in its layout, with a central axis between the Cross of Sacrifice and the War Stone with, at right angles to it, the entrance axis with the gatehouse. The western orientation of the Stone is inexplicable; the only other example in Lutyens’ work is in Villers-Bretonneux. The gatehouse building is of a standard type that is also found in Feuchy British Cemetery and in a number of other cemeteries with at-roofed gatehouses, such as Pernes British Cemetery and Trois Arbres Cemetery by Baker and Rew. There is a brick version in Wancourt British Cemetery and one without a gateway building in London Cemetery, and in Menin Road South Military Cemetery by Blom eld and Von Berg. Lutyens’ contribution to this cemetery, which was constructed at a late stage, seems nil, with the exception of the entrance building.
A low wall surrounds the cemetery and a forecourt has been created in front of the entrance by letting the wall continue onward around the corner in a quarter arc, an effect often used in British cemeteries. The greenery has recently been adapted. (Geurst, 2010, p.200)
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