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War Cemeteries in the United Kingdom

Discussion in 'World War II Cemeteries' started by brianw, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. brianw

    brianw Member

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    Much has been written about the war cemeteries in Europe and around the world. What isn't always appreciated is the number of war graves on the Britain mainland. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org) lists 12,407 war cemeteries from all wars and conflicts within the United Kingdom. There's a war grave in almost every church yard in the country. Many of the entries in the list refer to a single grave but there are other entries of many hundreds of graves.

    Doubtless many of the more modern resting places are for the brave service men and women who have given their lives in The Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places where British troops have been involved in recent years and their bodies returned to rest on Home Soil, but there are many where the graves are from the two world wars; a single grave for a brave Battle of Britain pilot shot down and buried in the village near to where he crashed, or a bomber crew killed in a crash while trying to nurse their broken aeroplane back to base after a raid over enemy territory.

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    The largest British war cemetery in the UK is at Brookwood near Woking in Surrey where the Military Cemetery covers some 37 acres and contains 1,601 burials from World War 1 and 3,476 from World War 2, including 3 unidentified British and 2 unidentified Canadian airmen. Also contained in the Cemetery is a Canadian section which contains 43 men who dies of their wounds during the ill-fated Dieppe Raid. There are also some 786 non-Commonwealth war graves; Polish, Czech, Belgian, Italian, Turkish Air Force and Free French. There is also a dedicated Royal Air Force cemetery.

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    The Brookwood Memorial stands at the southern end of the Canadian section of the cemetery and commemorates 3,500 Commonwealth men and women who died during the Second World War and have no known grave. This includes commandos killed in the Dieppe and St Nazaire Raids; and Special Operations Executive personnel who died in occupied Europe. The Brookwood Memorial honours 199 Canadian servicemen and women. The memorial was placed within a military cemetery near the theatre of operations.

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    There is also a 4.5-acre site to the west of the civilian cemetery containing the graves of 468 American military dead and a further 563 with no known grave are commemorated in the chapel. It is administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

    The largest American War Cemetery in the UK is at Madingley near Cambridge.

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    The cemetery contains the graves of some 3812 American servicemen from World War 2, mainly aircrew; the USAAF 8th Air Force paid a very heavy price, along with RAF Bomber Command for the victory for freedom in Europe. The Tablets of the Missing also lists some 8000 names of Americans with no known resting place.

    Runnymead War Memorial and Air Forces Memorial.

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    The Memorial site is located some 4 miles from Windsor, and although not a cemetery, it commemorates 20,323 named casualties who have no known grave. They gave their lives during World War 2 serving in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training, and Maintenance Commands.

    The German War Cemetery.


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    In 1959 The UK and Germany agreed that almost all of the known German war casualties in the UK would be transferred to a central cemetery established specifically for the purpose at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. The cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on behalf of Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, the German War Graves Commission.
    The cemetery contains the graves of some 4,855 servicemen from both World Wars, although the German War Graves Commission estimates that some 1000 or so casualties remain buried elsewhere, including 111 buried at St Peter Port on Guernsey.
     
  2. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Wow, I had no idea. Nice work. From memory, Runnymeade looks very close in design to a German cemetery i visited in France once...
     
  3. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

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    Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery

    Good topic Brian, here is a local one to me.

    Country:United KingdomLocality:YorkshireIdentified Casualties:1010
    Location Information

    Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery is located south-east of Harrogate, on the fringe of the town, just off the A661 on Forest Lane.



    Historical Information

    Many airfields were established in Yorkshire during the Second World War, among them R.A.F. station at Harrogate, Linton-on-Ouse, Tockwith, Rufforth and Marston Moor. No. 6 (R.C.A.F.) Bomber Group, had their headquarters at Allerton Park near Knaresborough and all the stations controlled by this group were in the area north of Harrogate, the largest base having its headquarters at Linton-on-Ouse.

    Stonefall_Cemetery.jpg

    Nearly all of the 988 Second World War burials in Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery are of airmen, two-thirds of them Canadian. (1 of the burials is an unidentified R.A.F. airman), Many of these men died in the military wing of Harrogate General Hospital. During the early months of the war, a piece of land was set aside for service war burials in Sections 20E and 21E and in July 1943, the Air Forces Section was opened at the north-eastern corner of the cemetery for burials from airfields in Yorkshire and the north-eastern counties. A few of the war graves from this period are scattered elsewhere in the cemetery.

    Harrogate_Stonefall_Cemetery.jpg

    There are also 23 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated at Harrogate Stonefall. This total includes six casualties alternativley commemorated by special memorial because their graves in churchyards elsewhere could no longer be maintained.
     

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