The Railway Chateau Cemetery is located close to Ieper and has been chosen by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as one of four cemeteries on the Western Front to undergo a trial landscaping project.
The following photos from Western Front Association member Joanna Legge, show how Railway Chateau Cemetery has been transformed by the trial landscaping.
The following notice now greets visitors to the cemetery:
FOLLOWING A CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE IN FEBRUARY 2008 A DECISION WAS TAKEN BY THE COMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION TO ADAPT FOUR COMMONWEALTH CEMETERIES, TWO IN FRANCE AND TWO IN BELGIUM.
ONE CEMETERY IN EACH COUNTRY WOULD HAVE THE TURF REMOVED AND GRAVEL LAID. THE OTHER WOULD HAVE A MORE DROUGHT TOLERANT GRASS LAID TO ADAPT TO DRIER CONDITIONS.
THE MAIN REASON FOR THIS MAJOR TRANSFORMATION IS TO OBTAIN VALUABLE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE FUTURE EFFECT ON OUR CEMETERIES DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGES AND TO GAUGE THE REACTION OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC ON THIS. FOR FULL DETAILS PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE: www.cwgc.org
RAILWAY CHATEAU CEMETERY WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE OF ITS PROXIMITY TO THE IEPER OFFICE AND FOR ITS POPULAR DESTINATION FOR VISITORS.
WE WELCOME ANY COMMENTS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING THE CHANGE TO THIS CEMETERY.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A DEMONSTRATION ONLY AND THE CEMETERY WILL BE RESTORED TO TURF.
The notice placed by the CWGC states that full details of the trial are available on their website. Follow the links to find out more:
· Climate Change – How Climate Change might impact on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
· CWGC Survey
Please take time to complete the CWGC Survey and also to make you views known directly to the CWGC using the contact page on their website by clicking here.
The Families and Friends of the First AIF applauds the joint Australian–UK decision, announced by The Hon Greg Combet AM MP and the Hon Kevan Jones MP, to conduct a full DNA testing program on the remains of Australian and British soldiers found in mass graves at Pheasant Wood (Fromelles), and for their continuing commitment to identify as many of the fallen as is possible. We also thank the Australian, UK and French governments for affording dignified individual reburials for these soldiers, buried by German soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July 1916, in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery presently under construction at Fromelles.