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Woods Cemetery

Gazetteer No. G0790


Address Zillebeke, West-Vlaanderen Belgium


The cemetery was used by battle units and field ambulances from April 1915 to September 1917. The irregular form of the cemetery is due to the circumstances during the war when the front line ran just in front of the edge of the woods. From the cemetery, there is a wide panorama out across the former battlefield as far as Ypres.

The cemetery is accessible via a long grass strip and consists of two parts. Access is gained via single entrance that is combined with a double entrance, so that the visitor who enters in the middle of plot i is led to the side and, on the left-hand side, arrives on the axis to the Cross of Sacrifice. The entrance displays similarities with Voormezeele Enclosure No. 3. The Cross of Sacrifice forms the hinge with the second field where plots ii to vi are situated. The field of plot i slopes gently downward, which is visible in the changes of height in the wall. The second field lies substantially lower and is accessible via a configuration of terraces, whose edges consist of brick retaining walls that originally accommodated greenery. At the end of the field there is a standard shelter of the same type that stands in the nearby Chester Farm Cemetery. The tall Lombardy poplars on either side recall the Spoilbank Cemetery, adjoining Chester Farm Cemetery. Birches grow on the higher field and the lower field is surrounded by whitebeams. The three graves in the extension of the wall are an exceptional feature.

According to the approval form, the cemetery was not visited by Lutyens. The design was drawn up by his assist- ant architect Cowlishaw. (Geurst, 2010, p.442)


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

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Imperial War Graves Commission