Tyne Cot Cemetery
When I first visited Tyne Cot Cemetery, in 2014, I was shocked and moved by all the tombstones and the names engraved on the wall of the memorial. So many young mens died here…
As I was reading the names on the wall, I heard a strange scream. I tought someone was having a stroke or something. In fact, a young new zelander was performing a Haka in front of the New Zeland memorial. He made it with all his heart and his soul, it was very emotionnal. The old belgian guide who was leading a group of british tourists began to cry and thanked him. It was very touching to see such a young man wanting to pay respect to his ancestors who died during the Great War so many years ago.
There’s also something very special with Commonwealth tombstones : the parents could leave a message on the tombstone. (No parent could do this on the tombstones of French soldier in french cemeteries, and I think it’s a shame). Some message are religious, some are “for King and Coutry”, and some are very personal, about a son, a father or a husband deeply missed. It makes these men flesh and blood, not just names on white stones.
Tyne Cot Cemetery is situated in Zonnebeke, Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium.
Tyne Cot Cemetery is the resting place of 11,954 soldiers of the Commonwealth Forces. 8,369 of these are unidentified.
This is the largest number of burials contained in any Commonwealth cemetery of either the First or Second World War. It is the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world.
‘Tyne Cot’ or ‘Tyne Cottage’ was the name given by the Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn which stood near the level crossing on the Passchendaele-Broodseinde road. The barn, which had become the centre of five or six German blockhouses, or pill-boxes, was captured by the 3rd Australian Division on 4 October 1917, in the advance on Passchendaele.
Photos of the cemetery:
You can click the photos to enlarge them.
How to get there:
Coordinates: 50.887253, 2.997697
Tyne Cot Cemetery is located 9 Kms north-east of Ieper town centre, on the Tynecotstraat, a road leading from the Zonnebeekseweg (N332).
THere’s a small car park close to the cemetery. You enter by a “visitor center” before going to the cemetery.