|Detail, Lone Tree CWGC Cemetery, Ypres Salient|
For the important work of memorializing the British Empire’s war dead, the Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission [CWGC]) employed luminaries of architecture, landscape, and literature: Sir Herbert Baker, Sir Reginald Blomfield, and Sir Edwin Lutyens to design the monuments, with typeface designed by Max Gill; Gertrude Jekyll to oversee the landscape design; and Rudyard Kipling to choose the inscriptions. Because of the popularity of gardening in Great Britain, and even among the troops themselves, a general design guideline was that the cemeteries should remind visitors of an English country garden. In an interesting contrast, German landscape architects selected a more somber forest-like theme.
War Graves Commission cemeteries are not identical, but they do have certain features in common. Most have stone enclosing walls and wrought-iron gates, and all feature standard headstones. Cemeteries with more than 40 graves generally have a Cross of Sacrifice as a focal point. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, the Cross of Sacrifice is a granite cross with a bronze sword embedded on the front, mounted on an octagonal base.
|Serre Road #2 CWGC Cemetery, Somme Battlefield |
Cross of Sacrifice to Left, Stone of Remembrance to Right