Curious places, these communal cemeteries, at least to an English eye. Every shade of grey that you could wish for, and very little green.
There are six Second World War CWGC burials in Wervik Communal Cemetery, two of them unidentified, but all killed at the end of May 1940, quite probably defending the bridge at Wervik against the advancing Germans.
As we enter the cemetery all six British graves are visible, three just to the right of the entrance, and three at the far end of the hedge to the right of the picture.
|GUNNER W. ALLAN||ROYAL ARTILLERY||25/05/1940||22||Grave 1|
|PRIVATE J. CORDON||THE MIDDLESEX REGIMENT||27/05/1940||20||Grave 2|
|A SOLDIER OF THE 1939-1945 WAR||25/05/1940||Grave 3|
To the immediate right of the first British burials are the graves of Belgian casualties from the Second World War. The first three are civilians, presumably caught in the wrong place at the wrong time during the fighting in May 1940.
Belgian soldiers (above & below), ‘Fallen for the Fatherland’.
More May 1940 civilian casualties.
The graves pictured in the previous photographs are to the left with the three CWGC headstones beyond; those nearest the camera (see next series of photos) are all First World War casualties.
Joseph Vanacker. Not forgotten.
The grave of Robert Verack, soldier, killed in May 1915.
Three Belgian soldiers who nearly made it.
Baldrick pays his respects.
|PRIVATE J. CASEY||THE ROYAL WARWICKSHIRE REGIMENT||21||31/05/1940||Grave 4|
|PRIVATE F. W. J. KING||THE OXFORD & BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY||28||27/05/1940||Joint Grave 5|
|A SOLDIER OF THE 1939-1945 WAR||A CORPORAL||31/05/1940||Joint Grave 5|
Continuing our walk through the cemetery, Baldrick stops me as we pass this grave.
It says, “Tortured to death”, he tells me. We are silent for a while.
Wervik, only a few miles behind the front lines, would have been packed with German soldiers throughout the Great War, although why Leutnant Kühne, who died in August 1915, was buried here, as opposed to in one of the military cemeteries, I know not.
Final view, looking towards the British graves as we leave the cemetery. A couple of minutes north and slightly east of here the small town of Geluwe, although not strictly along the river, is worth a visit.