WW1 Cemeteries on the Yser/IJzer Battlefields & Belgian Coast, Belgium

The battlefields of the Belgian coastal region today contain a number of cemeteries for the remains of First World War military dead.

In the list below click click icon to show location to show the place on the map or click icon to expand details to expand the details.

  • Adinkerke Belgian Military Cemetery

    Heldenweg, Adinkerke

    51.075526

    2.601673

    This Belgian military cemetery contains the remains of 1,647 identified and two unidentified Belgian servicemen. It is situated in Adinkerke on the Heldenweg to the west of the church. The cemetery was laid out as an extension to the churchyard. Most of the casualties buried here died as a result of wounds in the Belgian military hospital at De Panne.

    Open daily from sunrise to sunset.

  • Adinkerke Churchyard Extension

    Heldenweg, Adinkerke

    51.075526

    2.601673

    There are 67 identified British servicemen buried in the Belgian military cemetery located to the west of the church in Adinkerke village. The graves are laid out in two small plots, one close to the entrance to the cemetery and the other at the far end of the cemetery. All but 8 of these British casualties died in July 1917.

  • Adinkerke Military Cemetery

    Kromfortstraat, Adinkerke

    51.070753

    2.602386

    The cemetery contains 218 identified burials from the First and Second World Wars. It is located south of the village of Adinkerke in the locality of De Panne. The cemetery lies just to the south of the Dunkirk-Veurne-Nieuwpoort canal.

    There are 168 Commonwealth graves for First World War servicemen. The graves date from the period of June - November 1917 when the XV Corps of the British Army was holding the line here. Two British Casualty Clearing Stations were located during that time at Oosthoek between Adinkerke and Veurne (Furnes): 24th C.C.S. and 39th C.C.S. The 1st Canadian C.C.S. was stationed at Adinkerke village in June 1917.

    There are 55 British and Commonwealth graves from the Second World War in the cemetery.

    There are 142 Czech and German military graves.

  • Brugge Belgian Military Cemetery

    Kleine-Kerkhofstraat, Brugge-Assebroek

    51.1927180943723

    3.241279274225235

    The civilian cemetery on the Kleine Kerkhofstraat, Brugge-Assebroek, contains 611 military graves from the First and the Second World Wars.

    Of the First World War graves 520 are Belgian soldiers buried here, of whom 509 are identified. Almost all the Belgian casualties died in the area during the push for victory (Bevrijdingsoffensiev) in October and November 1918. Some casualties died of wounds here after the Armistice.

    There is one British WW1 burial in the Belgian plot. He is Corporal Lambert Robinson, no. 313798, of 202nd Squadron, Royal Air Force. He died in Brugge after the end of the war on 14th February 1919.

    During the 1914-1918 occupation of Brugge there were 807 German military graves originally located in this cemetery. It was named Brugge-Steenbrugge. After the Second World War all the German graves were removed to Vladslo German military cemetery. A German memorial has been left in the cemetery.

    Access is during the normal opening hours of the cemetery.

  • Brugge General Cemetery

    Kleine-Kerkhofstraat, Brugge-Assebroek

    51.19268066525411

    3.2408568263053894

    A Commonwealth War Graves plot for British servicemen is located in the Belgian civilian cemetery on the Kleine Kerkhofstraat, Brugge-Assebroek, in the south-east of Brugge.

    81 of the British burials are Second World War casualties and there is one Dutch war grave in the plot. Many of the British servicemen who died were killed as part of the defence of Belgium after the German Army invaded Belgium in May 1940. Others were shot down or crashed during Royal Air Force missions to Germany.

    Access is during the normal opening hours of the cemetery.

  • Coxyde Military Cemetery

    Robert Vandammestraat (N396), Koksijde

    51.104661

    2.642507

    The cemetery contains 1631 identified burials, of which 1507 are from the First World War. The cemetery was designed by Edwin Lutyens.

  • De Panne Belgian Military Cemetery

    Kerkstraat (N34), De Panne

    51.08792182372028

    2.6040440797805786

    This Belgian Military cemetery is located on the south-eastern outskirts of De Panne. It forms an extension to the communal civilian cemetery and contains the remains of 3,748 Belgian military burials. It is the largest Belgian Military cemetery. Many of the casualties buried here were brought to this cemetery from outlying cemeteries and small burial sites in the area.

    Access is available during normal cemetery opening hours.

  • De Panne Communal Cemetery

    Kerkstraat (N34), De Panne

    51.08782073751954

    2.6027995347976685

    Of the 259 burials and commemorations in this cemetery there are two First World War burials. All the others are Second World War casualties and almost all died during the defence by the British Expeditionary Force against the German advance at end of May to early June 1940.

    The two First World War burials are to be found in Block F of the civilian section in the French communal cemetery. These graves are close to the entrance to the Belgian Military plot which is an extension of this communal cemetery. One burial is unidentified but known to be a man from HMS Hughli. The other casualty is John Cain aged 50, Assistant Cook of the Mercantile Marine HMS Hughli, whose death was from drowning on 26 April 1919. HMS Hughli was a salvage ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. On 26 April 1919 she exploded when she was off the Belgian coast and she sank with the loss of 19 crew.(1)

    Access is available during normal cemetery opening hours.

    Acknowledgements

    (1) Loss of HMS Hughli: historicalrfa.org

  • Hoogstade Belgian Military Cemetery

    Brouwerijstraat, Hoogstade

    50.978673

    2.689172

    20 Commonwealth First World War casualties are buried in the Belgian military cemetery.

  • Nieuwpoort Communal Cemetery

    Brugse Steenweg (N367), Nieuwpoort

    51.129993

    2.764413

    70 British First World War servicmen are buried in the Commonwealth War Graves plot in Nieuwpoort Communal Cemetery. The cemetery is located on the N367 Brugsesteenweg the eastern outskirts of the town.

    The German Army launched an attack on the Allied line at Nieuwpoort and most of the burials date from the months of June to August 1917.

    31 Second World War burials in a separate plot include four unidentified servicemen. These casualties were killed serving with the British Expeditionary Force in May and June 1940 during the defence of Belgium and the withdrawal of the BEF to Dunkirk.

    Open daily from sunrise to sunset.

  • Ramscapelle Belgian Military Cemetery

    Ramskapellestraat, Ramskapelle (south of Nieuwpoort

    )51.114004

    2.763743

    Ramscappelle Belgian Military Cemetery

    There are 643 First World War Belgian military casualties buried here, of whom 232 are identified. Burials and casualties discovered in the battlefield area after the war and the reclamation of the flooded land here were reburied in this cemetery.

  • Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery

    Brugse Steenweg, Nieuwpoort

    51.128625

    2.767814

    Ramscappelle Military Cemetery

    There are 841 First World War casualties buried here, of whom 312 are unidentified. Many of the casualties were killed during June to November 1917 when the British XV Corps was located here.

  • Oostende New Communal Cemetery

    Stuiverstraat, Oostende

    51.209818

    2.915937

    The cemetery is located on the south side of Stuiverstraat in Oostende. The Commonwealth War Graves plots are situated towards the rear of the cemetery on the right side of the central path. There are 349 identified British and Commonwealth casualties buried in this communal cemtery.

    There are 50 burials from the First World War.

    366 burials are for casualties from the Second World War. There are 8 non-military graves and 8 graves for soldiers of other nationalities included in the plots.

  • Steenkerke Belgian Military Cemetery, Veurne

    Steenkerkestraat, 8630 Steenkerke (Veurne)

    51.058876

    2.689794

    There are 30 identified British First World War casualties buried in the Belgian military cemetery. Over 500 Belgian soldiers are buried in the cemetery.

    Open daily from sunrise to sunset.

  • Veurne Communal Cemetery Extension

    Oude Vestingstraat, Veurne

    51.074759

    2.664270

    There are 69 identified casualties buried in this cemetery. There are two First World War casualties also buried in the adjacent Belgian communal cemetery.

  • Vladslo German Military Cemetery

    Houtlandstraat, near Vladslo

    51.070908

    2.930034

    Mourning Parents sculptures at Vladslo German cemetery.

    Latitude N 51° 4' 15.27" ; Longitude E 2° 55' 48.12"

    The cemetery is located in the Praatbos (Praat Wood) on the Houtlandstraat, north east of Vladslo village.

    Burials of German war dead were begun from 16 October 1914 during the Battle of the Yser. After the war many German military dead were brought to this cemetery from elsewhere in Belgium and Luxembourg. This is one of four large collective German military cemeteries in Belgium. There are 25,644 war dead buried at the cemetery.

    The two figures depicting “Parents in Mourning” by Käthe Kollwitz is located at the far end of the cemetery. Her son is buried in this cemetery.

    Vladslo cemetery is looked after by the German war graves organisation, the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (VDK).

  • Zeebrugge Churchyard

    Sint Donaasstraat, Zeebrugge

    51.332127

    3.207450

    There are 30 graves of servicemen who died during the First World War located in the churchyard of Sint Donaas in Zeebrugge. 13 of the men are identified.

    Zeebrugge Churchyard

Further Reading

Book - The Glorius Dead

The Glorius Dead

Figurative Sculpture of British First World War Memorials by Geoff Archer

For several decades there has been a 'critical dismissal' of the art connected with war memorials. This book sets out to put the record right and to return these sculptures to their rightful place in the story of British Art. Some of the works stand comparison with the best sculpture anywhere. 260 photographs illustrate the text which is followed by lists of all the sculpted war memorials in Britain, naming the sculptors and the figurative imagery involved.

Book - 	Silent Cities: An Illustrated Guide to the War Cemeteries & Memorials to the Missing in France & Flanders 1914-1918

The Silent Cities

An Illustrated Guide to the War Cemeteries & Memorials to the Missing in France & Flanders 1914-1918 by Sidney C. Hurst

Book - Remembered

Remembered

The History of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission by Julie Summers, Brian Harris and Ian Hislop

Features images by award winning photographer Brian Harris, never before seen photographs from the Commission's own archives and a new history of the Commission by renowned author Julie Summers.

Book - On Fame's Eternal Camping Ground

On Fame's Eternal Camping Ground

A Study of First World War Epitaphs in the British Cemeteries of the Western Front by Trefor Jones

Based on five years' research, this book presents more than 1,500 epitaphs on First World War headstones in the cemeteries of Belgium and France. These tributes to young sons, husbands and brothers of that lost generation, buried far from home, provide an eloquent and moving demonstration of the power and beauty of language.

Book - Lutyens and the Great War

Lutyens and the Great War

by Tim Skelton & Gerald Gliddon

Sir Edwin Lutyens did many works in connection with the the First World War; Thiepval memorial on the Somme for example. This book describes the variety of these moving works and the stories behind them.

Book - The Unending Vigil

The Unending Vigil

This book by Philip Longworth tells the Commission's story from its beginnings on the Western Front during the First World War under the direction of Fabian Ware, describing the contribution made by the architects, sculptors, engineers, horticulturalists and men of letters who combined to create the war cemeteries and memorials that are so familiar today.

Related Topic

Dodengang/Trench of Death & Interpretation Centre
Dodengang/Trench of Death, Yser battlefields

Museums

An interpretation centre with a preserved section of original 1914-1918 trenches is one of the museum sites located in this battle sector.

Museums on the Yser Battlefields & the Belgian Coast

Acknowledgements

Some of the cemetery descriptions and history have been sourced by kind permission of The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. For more information about the cemeteries and the work of the commission visit the website:

Website: www.cwgc.org