The Twentieth Century Society

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Click to see full size Photo © Gavin Stamp
Photo © Gavin Stamp

War memorials

Belgium: Kemmel No.1 French Cemetery

Architect: Sir Edwin Lutyens
Owners: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Location: Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen

Kemmel No.1 French Cemetery is one of four cemeteries in or near Kemmel designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, 1924-25, in the village is the largest, and La Laiterie Military Cemetery is not far outside. Further to the north is Kemmel No.1, for which W.H. Cowlishaw was Assistant Architect, which has 276 graves (the French graves were removed before the permanent cemetery was constructed). It is very close to  Klein Vierstraat British Cemetery with 803 graves, for which J.R. Truelove was Assistant Architect, which has a particularly distinctive and unusual shelter building.

Indeed, the 130 or so cemeteries for which Lutyens was Principal Architect are remarkable for the wide range of creative and original variations on the basically straightforward theme of the lodge or shelter. They show an ability to develop and adapt the Classical language and the elements of architecture – the arch, the lintel, the column, the pier, the wall, the seat, the roof, combined with different textures and colours of masonry – which is most directly comparable, perhaps, with the contemporary work of Plečnik. Perhaps this was partly the consequence of working creatively with the team of young architects in France.

Gavin Stamp

Commonwealth War Graves Commission 


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