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CWGC Breaks Ground on Improvement Works at Essex Farm Cemetery

22 October 2015

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has begun essential maintenance work at Essex Farm Cemetery, near Ypres, in Belgium.

The cemetery is one of the most visited Commission sites in Belgium. In order to keep it in top condition, maintenance is scheduled on a regular basis.

The work being carried out includes:

repairs to the turf

  • the installation of stepping stones and paths
  • repairing gates
  • moving notices
  • planting of additional hedges and flowers
  • managing the growth of trees


Essex Farm Cemetery contains the burials of almost 1,200 servicemen of the First World War.

The area, just to the North of Ypres, was used as an Advanced Dressing Station from April 1915 to August 1917.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian Army Medical Corps was stationed here for a period in 1915. It is suggested that this was where he wrote his famous poem, 'In Flanders Fields'.

The cemetery is also the final place of Rifleman Valentine Joe Strudwick who, at just 15 years-old, was one of the youngest casualties of the war.

Please be aware that access to the cemetery may be restricted during certain periods of work. Potential visitors keep an eye on the Essex Farm webpage for the latest updates.