Belgium and France

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A major focus for the New Zealand War Graves Trust in 2012 is the contracted purchase of photographs of war graves and primary memorials of New Zealand casualties in Belgium and France. The majority are connected with battles in World War I.

Total number of casualties in Belgium, including New Zealanders who served with other Allied forces, is 5038. The majority are in three cemeteries or on memorials. Some 828 are on the Messines Ridge (N. Z.) Memorial, 67 in the Messines Ridge British Cemetery, 1281 on the Tyne Cot Memorial (another 192 in Tyne Cot Cemetery) and 378 on the Buttes Memorial. The balance, 2353, are in 129 smaller cemeteries, some administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and others by local or town authorities. On the Menin Gate Memorial are remembered 104 Kiwis who served with British and Australian forces.

In France, the total number of casualties is 8314 who are buried in 466 cemeteries and remembered on memorials. They include 534 who served with mainly Australian and British Allied forces.

While the majority of casualties are from the World War I and in northern France, there are casualties from both wars spread throughout the country, from Marseille and Toulouse in the south and Brest in the west to the German border in the east.