West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) Belgium
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Locality: Ieper, West-Vlaanderen
Visiting Information: Wheelchair access possible via main entrance. For further information regarding wheelchair access, please contact our Enquiries Section on telephone number: 01628 507200
Location Information: Birr Cross Roads Cemetery is located 3 km east of Ieper town centre, on the Meenseweg (N8), connecting Ieper to Menen. From Ieper town centre the Meenseweg is located via Torhoutstraat and right onto Basculestraat. Basculestraat ends at a main crossroads, directly over which begins the Meenseweg. The cemetery itself is located 2.5 km along the Meenseweg on the right hand side of the road.
Historical Information: The village and the greater part of the commune of Zillebeke were within the Allied lines until taken by the Germans at the end of April 1918. The village was recovered by the II Corps on 8 September 1918. Birr Cross Roads was named by the 1st Leinsters from their depot. The cemetery was begun in August 1917 and used by dressing stations. At the Armistice, it contained nine irregular rows of graves, now part of Plot I, but was greatly enlarged when graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and from certain smaller cemeteries. There are now 833 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 336 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to nine casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate 18 casualties buried in Birr Cross Roads Cemetery No 2 and the Union Street Graveyards, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire, and one Belgian interpreter whose grave cannot now be found. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
No. of Identified Casualties: 498
Courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.