Commonwealth military cemeteries in northern Greece
Military cemeteries in Macedonia
The first organized burials in the Macedonian Front were held in November 1915 in Thessaloniki (Zeitinlik area) because this part of the city hosted a great military hospital as well as a Catholic civilian cemetery. Usually these cemeteries were located near the front and the military hospitals; many areas for the soldiers’ temporary burial were created. France, Italy, Russia and Serbia preferred to create as few as possible big cemeteries close to big cities, where their dead soldiers from all battlefields were buried. Thus, the big cemeteries of Thessaloniki and Bitola were created. Exception was only the Serbian cemetery on the Kaymakcalan Mountain (it contains the remains of 5.000 soldiers Instead Great Britain preferred to establish many smaller cemeteries close to the battlefields and the big military hospitals. However it’s not so clear why all British cemeteries are within the Greek region of Macedonia.
In military cemeteries of big cities features of monumental style and corresponding architecture or even spatial organization are usually evident. These cemeteries, placed nowadays within the urban tissue, have their boundaries clearly determined from the rest of their urban surroundings
In military cemeteries of greater countryside, their boundaries in relation to the greater natural environment seem to be somewhat indefinite, incomplete or even under-emphasized. They are being rather “assimilated” by the landscape
Distinctive typological features depend on the nationality or religion.
British military cemeteries have made an attempt to streamline planning, construction, function and maintenance. Flower beds of perfect mapping and clear monumental character are rendered into pierian gardens of the “Charites” and unutterable “remembrance”.
French military cemeteries, nearly “minimalistic” aesthetic approach, merely “memorials” of a tragic historical period of the French nation, seem to long for their “silent integration” in both landscape and urban environment.
German military cemeteries, instead, use more intensive symbolism that the previous ones. They “suggest”, by means of materials and construction, an architectural style of grandeur and “tribute” to the German nation
All military cemeteries related to WW1 of this region show austere arrangement, clear mapping and routes, uniform tombstones, plain features of monumental style – with the exception in the case of the monument/cenotaph.
(from: Gavra Eleni, Architect-Planner, Lecturer; Vlasidis Vlasis, Historian, Lecturer Department of Balkan Studies, University of West Macedonia - Greece)
Commonwealth military cemeteries in northern Greece
Dojran military cemetery (Colonial Hill Cemetery No.2) It was established at the end of 1916 as a cemetery for the Doiran front. The graves are almost entirely those of officers and men of the 22nd and 26th Divisions died in April and May 1917 during the attacks on the Petit-Couronne and on 18-19 September 1918 during the attacks on Pip Ridge and the Grand-Couronne
Sarigol military cemetery It was established for the use of two local military hospitals. The graves are those of men who had been wounded in April and May 1917 during the attacks on the Petit-Couronne and on 18-19 September 1918 during the attacks on Pip Ridge and the Grand-Couronne
Karasouli military cemetery it was begun in September 1916 for the use of casualty clearing stations on the Doiran front. After the end of the war, it was increased with the graves coming from these cemeteries: Hadzi Bari Mah located 14 miles West of Lake Doiran, across the Vardar river. It was used only from the 25th August to the 17th September 1918. Its graves were transferred to Karasouli in April 1919; Caussica located village in the marshes on the North side of Lake Ardzan. Its graves were transferred to Karasouli in November 1920; Kalinova located in a village two miles North East of Caussica, at the foot of the hills which stand between Lakes Ardzan and Dojran. Its graves were transferred to Karasouli in December 1920.
Kirechkoi – Hortakoi military cemetery XVI Corps Headquarters were at Kirechkoi from January 1916 to September 1916. It was established in March 1916 for the use of three General Hospitals. It was filled in September 1918 due to the influenza epidemic
Lahana military cemetery It was begun in July 1916 for the use of the 27th Casualty Clearing Station, to which sick and wounded men were brought from the Struma front.
Mikra military cemetery It was established in April 1917 for the use of the eighteen general and stationary hospitals located in Thessaloniky.
Salonika military cemetery The cemetery is located in the so called “Zeitenlik “for the use of the eighteen general and stationary hospitals located in Thessaloniky.
Monastir road indian military cemetery It was made between 1916 and 1920. It includes two plots - the southern plot, containing burials, and the northern plot, in which the remains of over 200 Indian servicemen were cremated in accordance with their faith. The men served mainly with the Royal Artillery, the Transport Corps of Bharatpur and Indore, the Mule Corps and, after 1918, certain Indian regiments.
Struma military cemetery The remainder of the cemetery consists almost entirely of graves brought in from the battlefields, from the churchyards at Homondos, Haznatar and Kalendra, and from little front-line cemeteries (from: CWGC web-site)