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: Polygon Wood Cemetery and Buttes New British Cemetery and Memorial

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

Polygon Wood Cemetery and Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood, were both by Charles Holden with W.C. Von Berg as Assistant Architect, 1924-29, and are only 150 yards apart. The two are connected by axes and vistas. Polygon Wood Cemetery is small, with only 104 graves, but an artful essay in polygonal geometry. Buttes New British Cemetery is much larger, with 1,993 graves. On the high ground, the butte or ridge, is an obelisk, a memorial to the 5th Australian Division. Axially opposite is another New Zealand Memorial to the Missing: a colonnaded structure with an open court terminated by pavilions similar in design to the one at Messines Ridge Cemetery.

Gavin Stamp

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


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