Deir El Belah War Cemetery
- Country Israel and Palestine (including Gaza)
- Total identified casualties 724 Find these casualties
- Identified casualties from First World War
- GPS Coordinates Latitude: 31.42497, Longitude: 34.37361
Casualties of the Indian Army within this cemetery were originally commemorated by a nameless memorial with their names added to a cemetery register. In 1998, their names were added to the memorial.
You can find more information about historical inequalities in commemoration in our Special Committee’s report.
Deir El Belah is in Palestine about 16 kilometres east of the Egyptian border, and 20 kilometres south-west of Gaza. To reach the cemetery, travel along main road number 4 and the entrance is to be found down a sand track just before a junction. Look out for a sign over the road on the right of the junction.
The cemetery is open from Saturday to Wednesday from 7.00am to 3.00pm
Visitors are strongly advised to seek travel advice from their Embassy or Consulate before travelling to Gaza.
Wheelchair access to cemetery is possible via the main entrance.
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On 28 February 1917, the cavalry of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force entered Khan Yunus, midway between the Egyptian border and Deir el Belah causing the Turks to withdraw to Gaza and Beersheba. The railway was pushed forward to Deir el Belah, which became the railhead in April 1917, and an aerodrome and camps were established there.
The cemetery was begun towards the end of March and remained in use until March 1919. Most of the burials were made either from field ambulances from March to June 1917, or from the 53rd, 54th, 66th and 74th Casualty Clearing Stations, and the 69th General Hospital, from April 1917 until the Armistice with Turkey. A number of graves, the majority of which were originally at Khan Yunus, were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice.
The cemetery contains 724 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 5 of which are unidentified. The 64 casualties buried in the Indian Section are commemorated on panels in the cemetery. There are also ten war graves of other nationalities, two being unidentified.