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Tilloy British Cemetery

Gazetteer No. G0778


Address Tilloy-les-Mofflaines, Pas de Calais France


The cemetery was constructed by battle units and interment officers. In plots i and ii, 390 soldiers were buried in the period up to August 1918. After the war, the cemetery was supplemented with graves from the battlefield and from smaller cemeteries. The cemetery lies on the south side of the village along the road to Wancourt. The flat ground lies a little higher than the road. Two sides are enclosed by high groves, while two sides look out across a panoramic vista.

An exceptional feature is the composition of the main components of the cemetery, which lies open to the road. The field with headstones is slightly turned in relation to the road. There is a spacious frontal area with a crucifix concealed between several trees. The cemetery is situated on an elevated plateau separated by a terrace wall, similar to Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, for example. The entrance lies on the right-hand side of the Cross of Sacrifice and forms, in its composition, the mirror image of the Cross due to the repetition of the two plant beds. Nonetheless, the crucifix does stand on the main axis of the cemetery, so that there is mention of a shifted axis of symmetry. The entrance leads via a continuation of the entrance area to the shelter, which was originally surrounded by two yew hedges. The shelter contains sitting facilities and the main orientation has been turned 90° toward the Cross of Sacrifice.

Halfway along this lateral axis, the main axis is crossed by the War Stone and the crucifix on either side. The shelter consists of three bays and has, including the opening in the short façades, five openings that are topped by a semicircular arch in white stone. The building is largely made of brick. The sober but finely elaborated building displays great similarity to the building at Beacon Cemetery, where it also forms the gateway. The ceiling is vaulted and covered with stucco work, and the roof is covered with ceramic slates. A sober brick storage space has been incorporated in the wall in the northeast corner of the cemetery.

The cemetery lies three steps higher than the road, with these steps inserted between the two brick flower boxes at the entrance. The cemetery descends slightly, which is recognizable by the alterations in the wall on the north side. The cemetery is surrounded by a brick wall, which has been continued below ground level at the front as a terrace wall. To the right of the entrance there is a yew hedge. Originally the same kind of hedge stood behind a row of headstones to the left of the entrance so that the entrance area was more secluded. The entrance has been realized between two plant beds with low yews, and is marked by four posts and two chains whose links taper off. The two rows of graves on either side of the entrance shelter were laid there as the last additions.

Although this is essentially an extension of a battlefield cemetery, the difference with the later extension is hardly visible. Only the rows of plot i are a little shorter. There are two parallel axes on the irregular field, the entrance axis and the main axis, both of which are marked by plant beds on the roadside. The War Stone is situated on the east side. Around the War Stone, the graves are oriented toward the War Stone itself. In plots i to iv, the graves are oriented toward the road on the west side, while around the entrance the graves are laid out toward the entrance area.

Two old chestnut trees stand on the south side of the cemetery, behind the shelter. Three new chestnut trees have been planted in a triangle with one tree behind the War Stone and two at the side of the cemetery. Pollarded lime trees stand around the crucifix. (Geurst, 2010, pp.417-8)


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

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Imperial War Graves Commission