1 mile Sth-Sth East of Villers-Bretonneux, France.
This cemetery contains both French military graves, marked by concrete crosses, and the familiar CWGC limestone / marble (and more recently synthetic ploymer) headstones
Enter the village of Villers-Bretonneux on the D23 heading south. At the crossroads head in the direction of Demuin and Mozeuil, remaining on the D23. Two CWGC signposts will be seen. On leaving the village, carry on south for 2 kilometres, still on the D23 Demuin road. After passing over the A29 Motorway (Amiens-St Quentin), the cemetery is signposted down a side road on the right.
Crucifix Corner was the name given to several road or track junctions on the Western Front where there was a wayside crucifix, of the type that were and still are a common sight across France. However, at the Crucifix Corner south of High Wood, the original crucifix can still be seen today - complete with holes and scars from damage sustained during the war nearly 90 years ago. This Crucifix Corner, located where several tracks and roads intersect is just to the north of Bazentin-le-Grand. It was was on the natural route up to the High Wood area for troops - which led through what became known as Death Valley, as, although safe from view, the Germans knew that it would be a natural transport route and shelled it mercilessly.
(this next paragraph courtesy 'WWI Cemeteries')
The area came to prominence in 1918, when the German advance on Amiens ended on 23 April in the capture of Villers-Bretonneux by German tanks and infantry. On the following day the 4th Australian and 5th Australian Divisions, with units of the 8th and 18th Divisions, carried out "an enterprise of great daring", (Sir Douglas Haig's Despatch of 20 July 1918) and recaptured the whole of the village. The cemetery was begun by the Canadian Corps in August 1918 and closed in the same month. The original British Cemetery (now Plot I, Rows A to D) contained 90 burials, and French troops buried in Plot II at the same time. The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields between the Somme and the Luce and the following cemetery:
Vaire Wood Cemetery, Vaire-Sous-Corbie, near the West side of the Bois de Vaire. Here were buried 26 soldiers from Australia and one from the United Kingdom who fell in July and August, 1918.
Casualty Details: Total Burials: 804 - UK 288, Canada 76, Australia 296, France 142, Russia 2,
Crucifix Corner Cemetery contains 660 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. 191 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to two casualties known or believed to be buried among them. 16 American, 241 French and ten German graves have since been removed to other cemeteries, but 141 French and two Russian burials remain.
The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. (Courtesy CWGC)
Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan. 16 September 2014. Lest we forget.