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Photographer: Chris Knowles

Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension

Gazetteer No. G0695


Address Dernancourt, Somme France


The irregular position and length of the rows indicates that the construction, by Casualty Clearing Stations, took place mainly during the war. In spite of this unordered organization of the field, the position of the Cross of Sacrifice and the War Stone with the pavilions at the end of two paths has created a whole.

The cemetery lies on a quiet country road west of Dernancourt village, beside the municipal graveyard and on a slope higher than the road. It has a dramatic effect on account of its wide set-up with the slightly oblique position of the graves in relation to one another, and the rising ground. The cemetery offers a view of the open landscape across the road. The differences in elevation have been overcome by creating a horizontal plateau along the road, and three stairways at one-third of the depth of the cemetery, flanked by borders and bricked-in plant beds with yew.

The two pavilions along the road, situated on a plateau with the War Stone on the east side of the cemetery, immediately catch the eye. The northern pavilion forms the entrance to the cemetery and is accessible by way of a stair- way. The entry ritual is characterized by ever-changing perspectives when one climbs the stairs. On the staircase side, the expansion is translated into a step that can also be used as a seat, similar to the situation at Hangard Communal Cemetery Extension. The Cross of Sacrifice is on the highest part of the cemetery, in front of a screen of lime trees that encloses the theatrical space of the cemetery on the north side.

The square brick pavilions have identical openings on each side with arches and frames of white stone. The gable roofs are tiled and the corners have an upward turn as in Asian temples. This may have to do with the presence of some Chinese graves. The ceilings of the pavilions are dome-shaped. The openings at the end of the lateral axis with the War Stone are terminated by land tablets. This solution strongly resembles the pavilions of Coxyde Military Cemetery, although these are slightly higher and have a stone roof. The pavilions are built on a plateau of white stone that extends just beyond the pavilions with a white edging, comparable to Heilly Station Cemetery. (Geurst, 2010, pp.268-70)


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

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Imperial War Graves Commission