The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Click to see full size Photo © John East
Photo © John East
Photo © John East

War memorials

Belgium: Passchendaele New British Cemetery

Architect: Charles Holden
Owners: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Location: Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen

Passchendaele New British Cemetery was designed by Charles Holden with W.C. Von Berg as Assistant Architect; created in c.1923, it contains 2,093 graves. This is one of Holden’s earlier war cemeteries, with the shelter building of Portland stone designed in his most abstracted elemental manner, creating an effect which is undeniably military in character and which Philip Longworth, historian of the War Graves Commission, described as “almost cruelly severe”. This was surely appropriate in a cemetery named after the village, completely obliterated in the war (and now spelt Passendale), which was the immediate but seemingly unattainable objective of the 1917 offensive.

Gavin Stamp

Commonwealth War Graves Commission 

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