Godewaersvelde British cemetery
Godewaersvelde is a small village in Flanders, near the Belgian border.
The creation of the British cemetery dates back to July 1917, between the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Ypres. The 37th and 41th infantry regiments buried their deads here until November 1917. During the German offensive in Flanders in 1918, the field hospital and combat units continued using the cemetery.
A large French concession was created at the higher end of the cemetery in May and June 1918, but the graves were moved after the Armistice.
The cemetery contains the graves of:
- 893 soldiers from the United Kingdom,
- 65 from Australia,
- 4 from Canada,
- 3 from New Zealand,
- 2 from South Africa
- 1 from India,
- a nurse of the Health Service of Territorial Forces
- 19 German prisoners.
This cemetery is absolutely “packed” with tomb stones, stuck very close from each other (I’ve learned it means they were placed in mass graves after the battle and their bodies couldn’t really be identified afterward). It gives you the felling the cemetery is too small for the numerous poor men who died during those terrible years.
Photos of the cemetery :
You can click the photos to enlarge them.
How to go there:
Coordinates: 50°47’45″N 2°39’8″E
The Godewaersvelde British cemetery is located on a hillside between the village and the Mont des Cats, in the midst of cropland and pastures.
Drive on Rue de Boeschepe, and almost make a U turn when you see the road sign “Godewaersvelde British cemetery”. There’s a very small (and mudy) car park near the cemetery.
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– Soldier record : David Wright