Main Image
Photographer: Tim Skelton

Chocques Military Cemetery

Gazetteer No. G0685


Address Chocques, Pas de Calais France


For a while, the village of Chocques was the headquarters of the 1st Corps, and from 1915 to 1918 a Casualty Clearing Station was installed there for the wounded from the front at nearby Béthune. During the German spring offensive in 1918, the casualties were transported by field ambulances. The large collective plot iv a contains the remains of 29 soldiers of the 4th King’s Liverpool Regiment, who were killed in a train in April 1918. The stone memorial in plot i a has been placed behind the graves of eight men killed in a bomb explosion on the airfield in Merville in March 1915. After the Armistice, graves were transferred here from the battlefield and from smaller cemeteries in the vicinity.

The cemetery lies on an elevated piece of ground at a fork in the road. At the fork, an almost semicircular frontal area has been created, which initially had a natural stone plateau between two grassy sections, thus following the curve of the road. The stairway is enclosed between two natural stone plant beds with yew and it leads, via seven steps and an intermediate plateau, to the field with graves. The stairway has not been symmetrically incorporated into the curved area. It is situated on the right-hand side so that it can issue on to a triangular field with the Cross of Sacrifice and Chinese and German graves. This field lies alongside the existing field with graves. The original field was extended on the east side with new graves and the War Stone, which is situated at the highest point in the corner of a second triangular area. The cemetery is surrounded by a very exceptional natural stone wall that jumps in height according to the lie of the land. The inside of the wall is covered in plants at some sections. Various trees are situated around the cemetery. There are lime trees to the right of the entrance and red maples next to the War Stone. Alder trees stand directly to the left of the entrance, while there are common maples in the far opposite corner.

After a remark by Lutyens, recorded on the approval form, the Cross of Sacrifice was moved to the middle of the south side, due to the proximity of Jewish graves, and the headstones of the Jewish graves were turned away from the Cross of Sacrifice. Due to the relocation of the Cross of Sacrifice, the staircase was also altered. At the advice of Hill, the greenery consultant, alder trees were planted instead of lime, as they would harmonize better with the landscape. His proposal to plant willow as well appears not to have been honoured. (Geurst, 2010, p.245)


Geurst, J. (2010) Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.

Also Cited In

Listing Grade

Coming soon

Listing Reference


Imperial War Graves Commission