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The lay out at Saint James Cemetery

Discussion in 'Saint James Cemetery' started by Jim, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Once through the gates an expanse of vegetation prepares the visitor for access to the Memorial itself and its range of grave-stones beyond. Here, across superb landscaping, the necropolis remains unseen. Close clipped vegetation is architectural, walls of dark-green holly hedges, low hedges of close-cut box, edge the alleys with topiaried evergreen oaks. Massive clumps of covert and coppice punctuate the drive-ways of this vast park and the Prospect up to the Cenotaph. Gaps appear at some points in the screens of vegetation offering magnificent views of wooded uplands.

    The central alley is bordered with Sweet Chestnuts, whilst on the periphery, copses and spinneys are varied: Plantains, Oak, Beech, Copaifera, Horse Chestnut, Cedar, Yoke-elm, Hawthorn, and even some giant Sequoias.

    Like a half-opened fan. An expanse of tombs stretches out from the Memorial.

    On both sides of the prospect, sixteen squares of stones are arranged concentrically in the form of a half-opened fan. The bodies of 4,410 soldiers are buried here, 97 of which were never identified. There are 95 graves containing the partial remains of different soldiers. In twenty places two brothers lie side by side. The stones are of white marble, quarried in Lasa in Italy. The tombs face west, therefore no inscriptions can be seen from the Memorial. They can only be read when walking up from the east. Amongst the crosses are 81 stones with the Star of David for soldiers of the Jewish Faith. Otherwise there is no distinctive sign, these too form part of a great army lined up here for ever.

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    As at the Colleville Cemetery no individual flower arrangements on the tombs themselves break up the orderly rows of' stones. The only flowers are on some of' the trees (Chestnuts, Hawthorns). Otherwise the only note of' colour is the red of' roses round the Cenotaph and which border the Wall of' the Missing.
     

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