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La Ville-aux-Bois British Cemetery

Gazetteer No. G0734


Address La Ville-aux-Bois, Aisne France


This is one of the five cemeteries that assistant architect Truelove elaborated for Lutyens in the Champagne region. He applied the local honey-coloured limestone instead of regular brick. For his shelters, he made use of two standard types. In this case, it is a building with a saddleback roof with ceramic tiles just as in Raperie British Cemetery, Buzancy Military Cemetery and Vendresse British Cemetery.

The cemetery was constructed entirely after the Armistice. The ground lies around a metre higher than the busy Route National between Laon and Rheims. The War Stone has been placed right in front of the entrance on the east side. The entrance consists of a plateau with posts between two plant beds, from where two stairways lead the visitor past the War Stone to the two shelters. The width of the entrance is geared to the width of the lowest step of the War Stone. One of the steps extends on to the other stairway and forms a seat opposite the entrance. The field with graves has a central path that lies on the west side and runs between the War Stone and the Cross of Sacrifice. All graves are oriented toward the east. The field ascends slightly so that the horizontal wall around the cemetery gradually becomes lower. At the Cross of Sacrifice, the wall swings outward, forming an apse with the hedge. Due to its elevation, the cemetery offers a fine view out across the landscape on the other side of the road. Two conifers are situated in the corner of the cemetery. (Geurst, 2010, p.348)


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

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Imperial War Graves Commission