Counting the dead

This is maybe one of the most striking items displayed at the Imperial war Museum of London… At first sight it looks like a normal military map ofthe south of Bapaume, in the Somme…


But a deeper look shows a terrible reality: every single square of the map is annotated with a figure, handwritten in blue…


These figures are sadly the number of British dead soldiers buried in each square of the map, in individual or mass graves. This map was indeed used in the post-war years when the graves were moved to the new war cemeteries.


WW1 graves of Highgate Cemetery

The Eastern section of Highgate Cemetery in London is well-known for the grave of Karl Marx and its very gothic atmosphere, I couldn’t miss it! Among the thousands of graves, I was able to locate some of them linked in some way to fallen soldiers of the First World War, here they are…

To begin, a double grave, for two brothers: Gordon Dawe, who died from wounds received during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and Bert Dawe, who was killed by a sniper in 1917.


Then, the grave of the corporal Billingham of the Rifle Brigade, killed in August 1918.


The grave of private J. Leighfield, killed in october 1918.


The sad grave of an artilleryman, sergeant major, E. Hill-Jones.


Almost hidden, the grave of the second lieutenant D.H. Weedon, killed in November 1917.


The grave of a lieutenant of the London Rifle Brigade, T.A. Prior. He died in 1921, aged 34.


The grave of private Auger of the Essex regiment.


And finally, the grave of lieutenant A.H. Boney of the K.R.R. Corps.