The sheer number of cemeteries means they will be encountered on any tour of the Western Front. Their beauty and tranquillity is admired by all who visit. But it is easy to miss their unique features and qualities. I have spent forty years researching these sites, examining the plans of the architects, studying the documents in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission archives, and, crucially, walking the landscapes in which they sit.

A tour with this theme will unlock a new depth of understanding by showing you how to identify the precise intention of the architect through the form and horticulture of a cemetery. This will both enhance your experience and reveal the complexity of the Commission's project.


Most of the cemeteries were designed by a team of junior architects, all of whom were veterans of the Western Front, working at the then Imperial War Graves Commission’s France headquarters in St. Omer. As veterans of the fighting, these architects often imbued their designs with subtle features that refer back to the battlefields as they knew them.

Together we will walk the ground in the footsteps of the original architects, we will unlock the thinking behind their designs, and navigate the cemeteries in the way they intended.