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Douchy-les-Ayette British Cemetery

Gazetteer No. G0700


Address Douchy-les-Ayette, Pas de Calais France


The cemetery, on the edge of the village, was begun in August and September 1918. The graves from that period lie in plots ii and iv. After the Armistice, the cemetery was enlarged to accommodate the concentration of graves from the battlefield of Arras and the River Ancre, and from smaller cemeteries in the vicinity.

The layout of the cemetery is rectangular and regular, despite the fact that it was constructed during the war. It was laid out in accordance with the principles applied by the DGRE from 1916 onward and later adopted by Lutyens. The War Stone is situated on the east side and the Cross of Sacrifice has a central position. The graves are oriented toward the east. In contrast to most cemeteries where there is a clear distinction between the position of graves before and after the Armistice, work was carried out in this cemetery completely according to plan.

A striking feature is the fact that Lutyens applied many garden elements in some of his first cemeteries, such as pergolas for example. The pavilions in this cemetery have been designed as pergolas overgrown with blue wisteria, and consist of two gateways with triangular beams in between. The garden storage space has also been accommodated between the two gateways and, as such, is akin to the two pergolas, which form the entrance axis of the cemetery. The first pergola forms the entrance while the second is a sitting area at the end of the axis. Lutyens often applied pergolas in garden designs in England and Normandy, and he applied similar pergolas at four other cemeteries, including the one at nearby Achiet-le-Grand.

Besides blue wisteria, the greenery consists of four larger bean trees (catalpa), which are situated between the graves. Large yews adjoin the War Stone. Hornbeams have been planted on the west side to conceal the view of an industrial hall. (Geurst, 2010, pp.277-8)


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

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Imperial War Graves Commission