Route de La Bassée

Location

Wicres is a small village in the Départment du Nord, some 8 kilometres north-north-east of La-Bassée, on the Béthune-Lille road (N41).

From Arras it is more convenient to take the N47 which joins the N 41 at Illies.

The Route de La Bassée Soldatenfriedhof borders the N41 on your right.

To reach it follow the signs which will bring you off the main road and onto the track which runs alongside the dual carriageway.

The track is accessible from both ends. Should you wish to visit the German cemetery within Wicres Village continue northwards along the track turning right onto the D22 and then left into Wicres.

Route de La Bassée Soldatenfriedhof

Historical Information

This German Military cemetery was established in March 1915 for the casualties of the 15th Infantry Regiment and the 15th Reserve Infantry Regiment who were both stationed in this area up until March 1916.

Route de La Bassée Soldatenfriedhof

The great majority of the casualties buried here (470) fell during the British campaigns of 1915 (Neuve Chapelle; Aubers Ridge, Festubert and Loos).

Memorial inscription to IR 15

Memorial inscription to IR 15

There are also a number of graves dating from October 1914 of soldiers who fell during intense fighting in the area between Arras and Ieper.

Memorial Stones

Memorial Stones

Following the war the French authorities moved a number of casualties of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiments 16 and 17 into this cemetery.

The cemetery now contains the graves of 584 German soldiers from the First World War. Thirty of the graves remain unidentified : Unbekannt.

The central cross

A large central cross dominates the cemetery. It was sculpted by Otto Richter, who also created the facade decoration at the Reichstag building in Berlin.

During the inter-war years repair works were allowed but lack of finances prevented any great investment.

Following the Franco-German War Graves Agreement of 19th July 1966 permission and resources were made available to carry out work on the cemetery.

Leutnant Gustav Lange

Leutnant Gustav Lange : his original gravestone

Gefreiter Benjamin Winterhoff

An unknown soldier and Gefreiter Benjamin Winterhoff

 

Wicres Village Wicres Village Soldatenfriedhof
Wicres Churchyard Wicres Churchyard CWGC Cemetery