Departement du Pas-de-Calais
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Vieille-Chapelle is a village northeast of Bethune. From Bethune follow the D945 to Estaires for approximately 10 kilometres. Take the right turn onto the small road signposted to Vieille-Chapelle opposite Zelobes Indian Cemetery. Follow this small road and on entering Vieille-Chapelle village, the Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery lies on the right hand side of the road.
The Old Military Cemetery (now removed) was closed in November 1915, as being too near the school; and the New Military Cemetery was begun in that month and used by fighting units and Field Ambulances until March 1918. The village and the cemetery fell into German hands in the following month, in the Battles of the Lys; but in September 1918, on the German retirement, some further burials took place. These original graves are in Plot I and Plot IV, Rows A and B. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of British, Indian and Portuguese graves from the neighbouring battlefields and from other cemeteries; but the Portuguese graves were removed to Richebourg-L'Avoue Portuguese National Cemetery in 1925, and three German prisoners graves have also been removed.
There are now nearly 1000 World War I casualties commemorated in this site. Almost all fell in 1914, 1915 or 1918, and most of those who fell in 1918 belonged to the 55th (West Lancashire) Division. Of these, over one-third are unidentified and special memorials are erected to five soldiers from the United Kingdom, believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of nine soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery covers an area of 4,111 square metres and is enclosed by a stone rubble wall.