Work begins this month to care for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s newest cemetery. Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Cemetery was unveiled 10 years ago as a new resting place for 250 Australian and British First World War dead, following the discovery of mass graves in 2008.
This first major maintenance project since the cemetery opened will see the paving and planters around the Cross of Sacrifice repaired and new visitor benches installed.
The cemetery’s construction posed CWGC a number of challenges a decade ago and, as with all our sites, periodic maintenance helps us to ensure it remains in top condition.
While our teams are seeking to minimise their impact on visitors, there will be a small amount of unavoidable disruption at various stages. The work is expected to be completed in March 2021.
Repairs in Egypt
An original feature in one of our Egyptian cemeteries has been rediscovered during restoration work. The find came as the walls of Alexandria Chatby War Cemetery were being recently repaired.
The site’s northern boundary had originally been constructed using a local type of limestone, laid in this distinctive pattern. However, previous repairs had covered this part of the design using a plaster that at the time was believed to have given better protection.
Today’s restoration, in line with our current conservation principles, allowed us to remove the cement plaster and restore the wall properly, sourcing local stone to be carved into inserts where repairs were needed.