About El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery
The El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery is the burial place of 7,240 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the course of the Western Desert campaign in Egypt and Libya during World War II, particularly those who were killed in the Battle of El Alamein in 1942.
History of El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery
The Battle of El Alamein in Egypt was the site a major victory by the Allied forces during the Second World War, known as the Second Battle of El-Alamein. Over three years, Allied and Axis forces engaged in an ongoing conflict in the North African region, with Germany’s commander, Rommel, intent on capturing Alexandria and the Suez Canal.
The First Battle of El Alamein saw the Allies stall the progress of Italian and German armies. However, it was the Second Battle of El Alamein which changed the fortunes of the Allies, forcing the Axis out of Egypt and safeguarding the vital route of the Suez Canal. Prior to the battle, the newly appointed leader of the Eighth Army, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery had spent months building up the British forces both with reinforcements and munitions. Finally, the British attacked on the night of 23 October 1942 and, by 5 November the Italian and German armies withdrew.
The victory at El Alamein Battlefield was a vital turning point for the Allies, summarised succinctly by Winston Churchill: “It may almost be said, Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.”
El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery Today
Together with the beautifully organised grave site, the El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery houses the Alamein Cremation Memorial and the El Alamein Memorial. It is located near the El Alamein Battlefield.
Getting to El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery
Alamein is a village, bypassed by the main coast road, approximately 130 kilometres west of Alexandria on the road to Mersa Matruh.