Cannock Chase War Graves

Cannock Chase is the location of two military cemeteries - the Commonwealth Cemetery and the German Cemetery

Many of the German, New Zealand and British servicemen who died in the Cannock Chase Training Camp Hospital were buried in the Commonwealth Cemetery.

In 1967 remains of all German servicemen who died in Britain in both World Wars were brought from all over Britain for re-burial in the German Cemetery.

On 16 October 1959, an agreement was concluded by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany concerning the future care of the graves of German nationals who lost their lives in the United Kingdom during the two World Wars. The agreement provided for the transfer to a central cemetery in the United Kingdom of all graves which were not situated in cemeteries and plots of Commonwealth war graves maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in situ.

Following this agreement, the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge) made arrangements to transfer the graves of German servicemen and civilian internees of both wars from scattered burial grounds to the new cemetery established at Cannock Chase.

The inauguration and dedication of this cemetery, which contains almost 5,000 German and Austrian graves, took place in June 1967.

No. of Identified Casualties: 4858

During the First World War when there was a large military camp at Cannock Chase which became the base for the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. There was also a prisoner-of-war hospital with 1,000 beds, and both camp and hospital used the burial ground.

Cannock Chase War Cemetery contains 97 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, most of them New Zealanders, and 286 German burials. There are also three burials of the Second World War.

No. of Identified Casualties: 387

At the nearby Visitor Centre on Marquis Drive there is an example of a Great War hut, originally one of many forming the Cannock Chase Training Camps.

Also in the area are other memorials from the war periods, including the Katyn Memorial.

A model of the Messines area, built during the Great War is also located on The Chase where Brocton Camp was located.  Due to the fragile nature of the model it remains buried in order to preseve it, however in September 2013 it was briefly excavated by archaeologists (Project Kiwi) and extensively photographed and laser scanned with the intention of creating a 3D computer model to be displayed in the Marquis Drive Visitors Centre