Saint-Charles-de-Potyze National Cemetery
French National Necropolis of Saint-Charles-de-Potyze. Source: DR
The French Military Cemetery in Ypres contains nearly 4,200 tombs of soldiers who gave their lives for France.
The French Military Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium, contains the tombs of nearly 4,200 soldiers who gave their lives for France during the fierce fighting around the city during World War One.
The Ypres sector in Belgium, where the front lines formed a semi-circle around the city, was one of the bloodiest battlefields on the Western Front during the Great War, leaving 500,000 dead.
Five battles took place between the heights of Wijtschate and Messines and the French border, via the Valley of the Lys.
The first (17 October – 22 November, 1914), when the Franco-British troops kept the German troops from breaking through to the ports.
The second (22 April – 24 May, 1915), when the Germans used asphyxiating gases, an arm forbidden by the 1899 Hague Declaration, killing nearly 100,000 soldiers between 1915 and 1916.
The third battle, fought by the British (31 July – 10 November, 1917), was the most costly in terms of human lives, ending at Passchendaele.
The last (April – May, 1918), was one of the last German offensives.
Over 140 cemeteries and three large memorials serve as a reminder of these events.
The French National Necropolis of Ypres, located 25 km south-east of Roeselare on the Route de Zonnebeke, took part in this common effort to pay homage to the courage and stubbornness of the French soldiers who died for France. Some of them are buried on nearly three hectares (7.5 acres).
It holds 3,547 individual tombs and an ossuary containing the bones of 609 unidentified soldiers. A Breton Calvary and the tomb of Colonel Chaulet (No. 3478) of the 35th Infantry Brigade are among the landmarks at the site.
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