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Photographer: Chris Knowles

Pernes British Cemetery

Gazetteer No. G0756


Address Pernes-en-Artois, Pas de Calais France


The construction of the cemetery was begun in April 1918 when Casualty Clearing Stations situated in Pernes were pushed back by the German spring offensive. Almost all the graves were used by the stations. A few graves date from after the Armistice.

The graves are oriented toward the east, facing the War Stone on the east side of the cemetery. The Cross of Sacrifice stands at the end, at the top of the sloping ground, directly opposite the entrance. The War Stone has been placed on a horizontal plateau that has been inserted into the slope, with a small stone stairway and a retaining wall on one side.

The entrance consists of a curved slope from the road that leads up the embankment. On either side of the slope there are several steps and double pillars in which the name of the cemetery and the land tablets are engraved. The stepped tapering of the pillars recalls the Cenotaph in Whitehall in London, the British monument to commemorate the casualties of the First World War. At the top of the slope, there is a metal fence with four sections of which the middle two can be opened. The Cross of Sacrifice is visible through the entrance building behind the fence. The design of the entrance building has been derived from the Roman arch of triumph. This type of building has been constructed at several cemeteries in various materializations, such as the shelter in London Cemetery and the entrance building in brick at Wancourt British Cemetery. The building is not shown on the drawing of the IWGC and stands behind the actual entrance. It was probably added to the cemetery later. The same type of building has been added to cemeteries by Baker and Blomfield.

The cemetery is surrounded by a hedge that is combined with stone retaining walls at the entrance. A few young trees flank the entrance and the War Stone, and four low- branched hornbeams stand behind the Cross of Sacrifice. There are three backborders, of which the middle one is planted with roses for reasons of symmetry. (Geurst, 2010, p.381)


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

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Listing Reference


Imperial War Graves Commission