About Tyne Cot Cemetery
Tyne Cot Cemetery is a First World War Commonwealth cemetery in Belgium and, in terms of burials, is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world.
Tyne Cot Cemetery history
Tyne Cot cemetery first came into being in October 1917 when the ridge where the cemetery is now located was captured by the British Army.
The cemetery is positioned on the site of a German fortified stronghold which was captured by the 3rd Australian Division during the Battle of Passchendaele. Originally used as a small allied cemetery, the site was expanded after the war, with remains from nearby sites being transferred to the Tyne Cot Cemetery.
The name ‘Tyne Cot’ or ‘Tyne Cottage’ was given by the Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn that stood near the level crossing on the Passchendaele-Broodseinde road. The barn, which had become the centre of several German blockhouses, or pill-boxes, was captured by the 3rd Australian Division on 4 October 1917, in the advance on Passchendaele.
Tyne Cot Cemetery contains more New Zealand First World War graves than any other cemetery. Tyne Cot occupies part of the strategic high ground from which the Germans looked down across the Allied forces and is a historic site from the Battle of Passchendaele. The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarck
Tyne Cot Cemetery today
Today this cemetery contains the graves or memorials of 11,956 Commonwealth servicemen.
The Tyne Cot Memorial, which also stands on the site, commemorates almost 35,000 other Commonwealth servicemen lost in the region during the conflict whose graves are not known.
The memorial stands close to the farthest point in Belgium reached by Commonwealth forces in the First World War until the final advance to victory.
The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker with a sculpture by F V Blundstone. In addition to the cemetery, the remains of the original German defences can still be seen within the site. There is a visitor’s centre on-site that contains display panels, items on display and a video film to explain the history of this part of the battlefield.
Getting to Tyne Cot Cemetery
Tyne Cot Cemetery is located 9 Kms northeast of Ieper town centre, on the Tynecotstraat, a road leading from the Zonnebeekseweg.
Visitors walk from the car park along the path towards the Visitors Centre.