HRH The Duke of Kent unveils interactive panel at most visited war grave site in Flanders
05 November 2014
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, President of the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), will unveil a new
interactive panel at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium on 6 November.
The panel, which uses smartphone technology to reveal personal
stories of those who died, will give the hundreds of thousands of
visitors to this iconic site an insight into the historic events
that unfolded here a century ago.
Recent figures show that Tyne Cot receives almost 460,000
visitors a year - an increase of 64% over the last twelve months,
and a figure which makes it the most visited commemorative site on
the former Western Front.
His Royal Highness said: "The Centenary of the First World War
has seen a huge growth in visitor numbers to the war cemeteries and
memorials built and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission. This is heartening to see, as these places have
enormous power to connect us to those historic events and to the
millions of young men and women who took part in them - many of
whom we commemorate.
"Perhaps this is nowhere more true than here at Tyne Cot - the
largest CWGC cemetery in the world - where hundreds of thousands of
visitors come to pay their respects, to learn and to remember.
"The panels we unveil today help mark the sacrifice of the
almost 47,000 servicemen commemorated here but they are also part
of a wider initiative to help those visitors understand the
historical significance of these places and the human stories
behind the stone inscriptions."
With almost 12,000 burials, Tyne Cot is the largest Commonwealth
war cemetery in the world. The names of almost 35,000 missing
are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, which forms the eastern
boundary of the cemetery, and is close to the farthest point in
Belgium reached by Commonwealth forces in the First World War until
the final advance to victory.
'Tyne Cot' or 'Tyne Cottage' was the name given by men of the
Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn which stood near the level
crossing on the Passchendaele-Broodseinde road. The barn, which had
become the centre of five or six German blockhouses, or pill-boxes,
was captured by the 3rd Australian Division on 4 October 1917, in
the advance on Passchendaele.
One of these pill-boxes was unusually large and was used as an
Advanced Dressing Station after its capture. Nearly 350 men were
laid to rest around it between October 1917 and March 1918. After
the Armistice, the cemetery was enlarged when battlefield burials
and graves from smaller cemeteries were brought here.
At the suggestion of King George V, who visited the cemetery in
1922, the Cross of Sacrifice was placed on the original large
pill-box - one of three that remain in the cemetery till this
The cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Herbert Baker
with sculpture by F V Blundstone.
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