WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 47 – The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Yet another post where I recommend you leave this blog and go and read something else! However this time it’s a book, rather than something else on the internet; Empires of the Dead by David Crane to be precise.

Front and Back Cover of Empires of the Dead by David Crane

If you’ve ever traversed the Western Front you’ll have seen the WWI cemeteries. The uniform rows of white stones – thousands in some, hundreds in others – watched over by the Cross of Sacrifice are a simple and haunting reminder of what was lost in four short years. Although these memorials were the brain child of Fabian Ware these memorials are more often linked to Kipling and Lutyens in the popular imagination and this book redresses the balance, explaining in eloquent detail just how the CWGC came into being and the sheer extent of the work required to create these places of remembrance.

These are a selection of photos I took at some of the cemeteries I visited when my Dad and I did our own tour of the Western Front in October 2013. When we sat down and did the calculations we realised that by the end of that week we’d visited the graves of over sixty thousand men.

All photos taken by me and not to be reproduced without permission.

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