Efford Cemetery, the second cemetery we shall look around on our visit to Plymouth, contains 338 First World War and 109 Second World War burials. This is also the site of Plymouth City Crematorium, and a screen wall near the Cross of Sacrifice remembers 61 Second World War servicemen and women whose remains were cremated here.
The First World War burials include men from across much of the British Empire at the time; there are Australians and New Zealanders buried here, alongside Canadians, New Foundlanders, South Africans and men from the British West Indies Regiment. Hospital ships from overseas theatres of war would steam into Devonport where their cargoes of wounded were disembarked and taken directly to the hospitals in Plymouth, which explains the diversity of nationalities to be found in the city’s cemeteries.
The graves of eight men of the Chinese Labour Corps, all casualties from the summer of 1917. Although we have encountered a number of Chinese Labour Corps graves on our travels in Flanders, just 17 are buried in England; the other nine can be found in cemeteries in Folkestone and Liverpool.
The crew of a Greek steamer, the George M. Embiricos, torpedoed by a German submarine in the English Channel on 22nd October 1916, are also buried here.
Being such a large cemetery, our visit continues in Part Two .