Jerusalem War Cemetery

The Jerusalem War Cemetery is the final resting place for 2,515 British Commonwealth soldiers of the First World War.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is tasked with commemorating the 1.7 million men and women of the British Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars in service or of causes attributable to service. There are 23,000 CWGC cemeteries, burial plots and memorials in some 153 countries across the world. The list includes the Jerusalem War Cemetery which was begun after the occupation by the British Empire and the formal entry of General Allenby to the Holy City.

The Jerusalem War Cemetery is situated at the north end of the Mount of Olives, adjacent to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus.

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The Jerusalem War Cemetery began with 270 burials. It was later enlarged to take graves from the battlefields and smaller cemeteries in the neighborhood, including the Bethlehem German Cemetery, the Jericho Military Cemetery, the Jerusalem Protestant Cemetery, the Jerusalem German Hospice Military Cemetery, the Limber Hill Military cemetery and the Ram Allah Military Cemetery. There is a small Jewish Section as well.  

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Within the cemetery stands the Jerusalem Memorial commemorating 3,300 Commonwealth servicemen who died during the First World War in operations in Egypt or Palestine and who have no known grave. The Memorial was designed by Sir John Burnet, with sculpture by Gilbert Bayes, and was unveiled by Lord Allenby and Sir James Parr on 7 May 1927.

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There are now 2,515 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the Jerusalem War Cemetery, 100 of which are still unidentified.

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The Jerusalem War Cemetery is open permanently and may be visited at any time. The Mosaic Room (also known as the Records Room) is undergoing a complete renovation, scheduled for completion by the end of this month. There is an online alternative, however, that allows visitors to the CWGC website to search for War Dead and a Cemeteries search.

There is also a Virtual Cemetery, an educational resource about the CWGC’s work “as a springboard to a much larger debate about the Centenary of the First World War and the different ways in which we can all remember the servicemen and women who gave their lives in conflict.”

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.