British Military Cemetery
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
These plots are the oldest in the militay cemetery dating from its inauguration in 1917 following the formal establishment of the Imperial War Graves Commission on 21st May 1917 by Royal Charter. There are 602 British burials from the Great War. A further 880 World War 2 burials were made.
The United Kingdom and France signed the Entente Cordial in 1904 ending a millenium of strife. The Anglo-Russian Entente followed in 1907. Associated alliances with the USA, Spain and Japan overall balanced the Triple Alliance of Germany, Autria-Hungary and Italy. These ententes ended recent British neutrality to European affairs. This diplomatic and military alignement preceded the Great War.
At the outbreak of hostilities in 1914 the British Expeditionary Force was sent to France and Belgium to prevent their occupation by Germany. Great Britain's declaration of war was a rallying cry to the Empire which provided combatants from across the world.
The British Army lost an estimated 800,000 killed and 2 million wounded in the deadliest conflicts of its history in battlefields in European, African, Mesopotamian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Palestinian theatres of war among others. The war transformed the Army from a small elite force operating colonialy to one which pioneered new technologies in ordinance, tank and aerial warfare and developed strategies and tactics to meet aggression on a continental scale.
the British Army again sent an Expeditionary Force into Europe to counter German military incursions only to be evacuated in 1940. Once more the Commonwealth rallied to meet a new global threat. With allied support spectacular Briitish Army successes followed from D-Day in which 50% of Allied troops were British, to North Africa, Italy and the Far East.
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