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Esquelbecq Military Cemetery

  • Country France
  • Total identified casualties 627 Find these casualties
  • Region Nord
  • Identified casualties from First & Second World War
  • GPS Coordinates Latitude: 50.88713, Longitude: 2.41609

Location information

Esquelbecq is a village near the Belgian frontier, 24 kilometres north of Hazebrouck and the same distance south of Dunkirk. The Military Cemetery is about one kilometre west of the village, 200 metres south of the road to Zeggers-Cappel.

Visiting information


The route to and the cemetery are signposted.


There is off road parking close to the main entrance of the cemetery, on Rue du Souvenir. The distance from the layby parking to the main entrance is less than ten metres.

There is space for multiple vehicles at the side of the road.

The ground is flat and firm.


The cemetery is rectangular shaped.

The main entrance is located in the northeast corner of the cemetery, through a two-metre-wide gap between 2 pillars. The Left side of the entrance has a wall with inscribed panels and cemetery name above. The left-hand pillar houses the Register Box in the inner face.

There is no gate at the main entrance. The ground is flat and firm with a gravel surface. Between the two pillars at the entrance, stone paving separates the gravel from the grass inside the cemetery.

The Cross of Sacrifice is in the middle of the cemetery on the Western boundary.

The Stone of Remembrance is at the middle of the cemetery on the Eastern boundary, opposite the Cross of Sacrifice, in line with the entrance. There are planted stone bastions surrounding the Stone of Remembrance and a stone step leading down into the cemetery.

All the internal paths are grass, the ground is flat and firm.

At the far end of the cemetery, in line with the Stone of Remembrance and the main entrance is a stone shelter building. Inside is an information panel mounted on the back wall. There is also a wooden bench seating area in the shelter. There is a single step up from the grass into the shelter building.

The Eastern end of the site from the entrance to shelter building is raised from the burial area. The ground slopes down from the front of the Stone of Remembrance to the first row of headstones. There are gaps in the row of headstones to access from the raised section.


There is no alternative access into the cemetery. Access is through the main entrance.


The cemetery is permanently open.

Download Cemetery Plan

History information

The cemetery was opened in April 1918 during the early stages of the German offensive in Flanders, when the 2nd Canadian and 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations came to Esquelbecq. It was closed in September 1918, although one French grave was added in 1919 and one British soldier from 1916 was added later from an isolated site.

The cemetery was used again during the Second World War, mainly for the burial of those killed during the German advance of May 1940 and the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force to Dunkirk.

Esquelbecq Military Cemetery contains 578 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 47 from the Second World War. There are also 11 French and German burials.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.