The national necropolises of Vauxbuin

The German necropolis. Source: SGA/DMPA - JP le Padellec

Vauxbuin: the French and German national necropolises
The French national necropolis of Vauxbuin is situated next to the N2 main road, on the right hand side when approaching from Soissons heading towards Villers-Cotterêts. British troops passed through Vauxbuin on two occasions: during the first battle of the Marne (between the 6th and 10th September 1914), on the way to the Chemin des Dames, where they would remain until mid October, and during the spring and summer fighting of 1918, following the German offensive on the 27th May: operation Blücher.
The site of Vauxbuin, developed in 1919, occupies an area of 16,096 m2 and contains the mortal remains of 4,916 men, including 4,899 servicemen killed during the Great War and 17 servicemen from the Second World War. Bodies from other temporary military cemeteries, such as Longpont (628 bodies), Cerseuil, Longueval, Missy-sur-Aisne, Saint-Christophe à Soissons, Oulchy-le-Château, Jouy and Nanteuil-la-Fosse were brought to this cemetery. Of these servicemen, 3,958 are buried in individual or shared graves and 940 in two ossuaries. There is also a Russian burial area. A military square contains the bodies of 281 British soldiers from the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) who passed through Vauxbuin on two occasions. 53 graves represent the casualties from 1914.
The German necropolis at Vauxbuin is situated beside the N2 main road, next to the national French necropolis, from which it is separated by a line of thuja trees. It was built by France after the Armistice. This is where French services brought together the graves from 150 different sites up to 15 kilometres away.
A small number of the men buried here were killed between the autumn of 1914 and February 1915, during the German advance and retreat from the Battle of the Marne. Most of the graves relate to the Battle of the Chemin des Dames of 1917: wounded who succumbed to their injuries in the French first aid posts, as well as those killed throughout 1918, during the German offensive on the Chemin des Dames, which began on the 27th May 1918. This necropolis contains 9,229 bodies (stone cross) of which 3,672 are in individual graves, including 13 anonymous ones, plus 5,557 spread across four ossuaries, of whom 4,779 have not been identified. Thirteen Germans of Jewish faith rest alongside their brothers in arms. The Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V., an association created on the 19th December 1919 for the protection and conservation of war graves, as well as for passing on information to families from the major sites of the First World War, has taken over responsibility for the upkeep of this site.
Direction interdépartementale (D.I.) Chef du secteur Nord-Pas de Calais Cité administrative Rue de Tournai 59045 Lille Cedex. Tel.: + 33 (0) 320 62 12 39 Fax: + 33 (0)3 20 62 12 30 Email: diracmetz@wanadoo.fr
  • La nécropole allemande. Source : SGA/DMPA - JP le Padellec

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