John Hubert Worthington

Hubert, as he was always known, was born on the 4th July 1886 in Alderley Edge, Cheshire to Father, Thomas and his mother, Edith Emma. Edith was Thomas’ second wife. He was their youngest child.  The family were Unitarians, who used to worship at Dean Row Chapel near Wilmslow.

Thomas was a well known architect who designed many buildings in and around Manchester. Perhaps his best known work is the Albert Memorial in front of Manchester Town Hall. The family lived at ‘Broomfield’ on Macclesfield Road throughout Hubert’s childhood. Hubert was educated at Ryleys Preparatory School in Alderley Edge. Here he met Wilfrith Elstob, who was to become a lifelong friend. In 1900 he went to Sedbergh School in Cumbria, and stayed there for 5 years. He served in the School Cadet Corps for 3 years, reaching the rank of Corporal. Hubert qualified for a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Architecture at Manchester University before being articled to his half-brother Percy in order to commence his professional career.


A photograph of Hubert in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre. Reference: MR4/23/91/160

Hubert visited Italy in the years before the outbreak of the First World War, and ‘developed a lifelong love of Italian architecture’. In 1912 he began working in the office of Sir Edwin Lutyens, a famous and highly esteemed architect who was just beginning to design Lutyens Delhi, in India. Edwin’s work and personality both inspired Hubert greatly and they would remain friends for many years. In 1914, Hubert, now an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects applied to be commissioned as an officer in the 6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, where his brother Claude was serving. His ‘papers were returned from the War Office’ on the 17th. Hubert tried again a month later. This time he was accepted into the 1st City Battalion. This was being formed by the men of Manchester so that they could serve together. He became a Probationary Second Lieutenant on the 12th September and was confirmed in the rank on the 3rd October. Wilfrith Elstob joined the battalion on the same day, after Hubert had persuaded him to stay in Manchester rather than join a London based unit.


Lt. Col Winifrith Elstob, Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre, Reference: MR4/23/91/81

On the 8th December 1914 Hubert became a Temporary Captain. He was given command of A Company with Wilfrith as his Second in Command. The 1st City Battalion became the 16th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. The unit trained at Heaton Park in Manchester until April 1915 when they moved to Belton Park near Grantham in Lincolnshire. They moved to Larkhill in Wiltshire during September, and sailed for France in early November, arriving on the 8th. The 16th Battalion trained around Hebuterne and Louvencourt after their arrival in France. In January 1916 they moved to the area around Maricourt and stayed here, taking their turns in the front line, until the 1st June. They then began training to take part in the Somme Offensive, which was to begin on the 1st July. On this day the 16th Battalion attacked the village of Montauban. Although they took the village, heavy German fire killed and wounded a large number of soldiers, including Hubert. As he later related, ‘6 machine gun bullets hit me + I knew no more but the feeling I was killed. The next thing I knew was that I had been dragged to a shell hole where I lay 30 hours quite helpless’. Hubert was wounded in the left hip and hand, and one bullet had passed through his right lung, breaking at least one rib.

Hubert’s wounds were very serious. He was evacuated back to the UK on the 11th July for treatment at the 4th London General Hospital in Denmark Hill. He recovered well, and was discharged from hospital on the 19th September. He went on sick leave to Clovelly Court in Devon.

Hubert continued to have trouble breathing, and at the beginning of November he ‘strained muscles of right chest’. He was still ‘unable to pull or lift heavy weights’ in mid December. His sick leave was extended every few months until the 24th February 1917. On this day he was admitted to the Prince of Wales’ Convalescent Home for Officers in Marylebone, London, until the 21st March. He was passed fit for Home Service after 3 more weeks of leave. In mid April Hubert was ordered to join the 21st Officer Cadet Battalion (OCB) at Crookham, near Fleet in Hampshire. He was employed as an assistant instructor, helping teach officers under training how to lead their soldiers on the battlefield. He was easily exhausted, but at the 21st OCB he could ‘spend his nights in bed and can rest when knocked up’. His Commanding Officer did not believe he was ‘fit for anything more active than employment here’. Hubert stayed at the 21st OCB until after the end of the war on the 11th November 1918. He became a Company Commander there on the 28th November and held this job until he was released from the Army on the 8th February 1919. He had been ‘a most reliable and hard working officer’ and ‘an influence for good’ on the Cadets he had trained.

Wilfrith Elstob had not been as fortunate as Hubert. He went missing on the 21st March 1918, after leading the 16th Battalion in the defence of Manchester Hill near St Quentin. Hubert was determined to recover his friend, who he knew as ‘Bindy’. He travelled to France twice during 1919 with members of the War Graves Commission in the hopes of finding his body, but without success. Wilfrith, with no known grave was commemorated on the memorial at Pozières. Later that year though Hubert was instrumental in gathering the evidence that led to Wilfrith being awarded the Victoria Cross on the 9th June. He went with Wilfrith’s father to receive the Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 24th July 1919.

Hubert returned to the family firm, Thomas Worthington and Sons, and resumed his career in architecture. He designed a large number of buildings and monuments, including Manchester Dental Hospital and the Private Patient’s Home at the Royal Infirmary in Manchester. He also designed a new wing for Rossall School in Lancashire, rooms for Eton College, and the Memorial Cloister at Sedbergh School. In 1923 Hubert became Professor of Architecture at the Royal College of Art in South Kensington. One of his students was Sophie Joan Banham. They married in Chelsea between October and December 1928. They had 3 children, who were all born in the Brentford area of West London. Penelope Anne was born between July and September 1929, Anthony Crispin on the 1st February 1932 and Olivia Joanna between July and September 1935. Hubert and Joan’s marriage was long and happy. They shared ‘a common interest in the arts and humanities’, and worked together on many projects. As one friend remembered, ‘it was no uncommon matter, when pondering over a problem connected with a project for Hubert to say: ‘I would like to ask Joan about this’. And so the perfect solution was discovered’.

In 1943 Hubert was appointed Principal Architect for the Imperial War Graves Commission, North Africa. He would be responsible for selecting the sites for cemeteries and memorials, and then designing them and overseeing their construction. He and Joan went on a tour of North Africa for this purpose in early 1947, and then another, visiting the finished cemeteries, in 1953. Amongst his many designs were the Malta Memorial to missing airmen near Valetta, Tobruk War Cemetery and the El Alamein Cemetery and Memorial in Egypt.


The El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt

Hubert was highly thought of as an architect who despite all his professional success, kept a special place in his heart for his former comrades in the 16th Battalion. He would always stop and greet any he met in the street, and never missed a reunion. At these events comrades ‘relished his after-dinner reminisces, as he was a raconteur and mimic of outstanding merit’.

Information Sources:

Museum of the Manchester Regiment

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Interpreting Egypt’s War Cemeteries – Holders of the Victoria Cross (WW2)

To conclude my previous post on Egypt’s V.C burials  we shall now look at the holders of the remaining five awards cited during the course of the Western Desert campaigns of WW2, the recipients being three members of the Australian Infantry, a member of the Durham Light Infantry and a member of the General Staff.

WX10426 Private Percival Eric Gratwick V.C


Date of Death: Between 25/10/1942 and 26/10/1942, Age 40

Regiment/Service: Australian Infantry, A.I.F, 2/48 Bn

Grave Reference: XXII.A.6, El Alamein War Cemetery


Percival Gratwick joined the 2/48th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force and served in Egypt and Libya during the North African campaign. On the night of 25th/26th October 1942, his unit attacked German positions on the Miteiriya Ridge. The  platoon took heavy casualties and, with no regard for personal safety, he charged several German positions, saving the other men and enabling the capture of their objective.  Sadly he was killed in the fighting and posthumously received the Victoria Cross.

His citation in the London Gazette of 28th January, 1943 gave the following details:

‘During an attack at Miteiriya Ridge on the night 25th-26th October, 1942, Private Gratwick’s platoon was directed at strong enemy positions, but its advance was stopped by intense fire at short range which killed the platoon commander, the platoon serjeant and many others, reducing the platoon strength to seven. Private Gratwick, acting on his own initiative and with utter disregard for his own safety, charged the nearest post and completely destroyed the enemy with hand grenades. He charged a second post, from which the heaviest fire had been directed, and inflicted further casualties, but was killed within striking distance of his objective. By his brave and determined action, Private Gratwick’s company was enabled to move forward and mop up its objective. His unselfish courage, his gallant and determined efforts against the heaviest opposition changed a doubtful situation into the successful capture of his company’s final objective’

WX9858 Private Arthur Stanley Gurney V.C


Date of Death: 22/07/1942, Age 33

Regiment/Service: Australian Infantry, A.I.F, 2/48 Bn

Grave Reference: XVI.H.21, El Alamein War Cemetery


Arthur Gurney was 33 years old, and a Private in the 2/48th Battalion A.I.F when he was posthumously awarded the VC  for his actions during the first Battle of El Alamein at Tel-el-Eisa, Egypt. The battalion were subjected to intense machine gun fire inflicting heavy casualties which included most of the Units command structure. Private Gurney, realizing the seriousness of the situation, charged the nearest machine-gun post, silencing the guns and bayoneting three of the crew. He bayoneted two more at a second post before a grenade knocked him down. Picking himself up, he charged a third post and disappeared from view. Later, his comrades, whose advance he had made possible, found his body.


The Desert Grave of Private Arthur Gurney

His citation in the London Gazette of 8th September, 1942, gave the following details:

‘During an attack on strong German positions at Tell-El-Eisa on 22nd July, 1942, the company to which Private Gurney belonged was held up by intense enemy fire. Heavy casualties were suffered, all the officers being killed or wounded. Private Gurney without hesitation charged and silenced two machine-gun posts. At this stage he was knocked down by a stick grenade, but recovered and charged a third post, using his bayonet with great vigour. His body was found later in an enemy post. By this single-handed act of gallantry in the face of a determined enemy, Private Gurney enabled his company to press forward to its objective. The successful outcome of this engagement was almost entirely due to his heroism at the moment when it was needed’

Private Gurney’s medal group, including his Victoria Cross, is on permanent display at the Australian War Memorial.

SX7089 Sergeant William Henry Kibby V.C


Date of Death: 31/10/1942, Age 39

Regiment/Service: Australian Infantry, A.I.F, 2/48 Bn

Grave Reference: XVI.A.18, El Alamein War Cemetery


William Kibby was born in County Durham, England. In early 1914, the family emigrated to Adelaide where Bill attended Mitcham Public School. After leaving school he was employed at a Plasterworks where he designed and fixed plaster decorations. In 1926, he married Mabel Sarah Bidmead Morgan and had two daughters. Although diminutive in stature William was a strong man who loved outdoor activities. William joined the A.I.F during Second World War. In 1942 and served as a Sergeant with the 2/48th Battalion during the campaigns in North Africa.

In 1942 during the October phase of the Battle of El Alamein William distinguished himself through his skill in leading a platoon after his commander had been killed during the initial attack at Meteiriya Ridge. On 23 October, he charged a machine gun position killing three enemy soldiers, capturing 12 others and taking the position. His company commander intended to recommend him for the D.S.O after this action, but was killed. During the following days, Kibby moved among his men directing fire and cheering them on. He mended his platoon’s telephone line several times under intense fire. On 30–31 October, the platoon came under intense machine gun and mortar fire. Most of them were killed or wounded. In order to achieve his company’s objective, Kibby moved forward alone, to within a few metres of the enemy, throwing grenades to destroy them. Just as his success in this endeavour appeared certain, he was killed.

His citation read:

‘On 23rd October 1942, during the attack on Meteiriya Ridge, the commander of Serjeant Kibby’s platoon was killed, and he assumed command. The platoon had to attack strong enemy positions holding up the advance of their Company. Without thought for his personal safety, Serjeant Kibby dashed forward firing his tommy-gun. This courageous lead resulted in the complete silencing of the enemy fire. On 26th October, under heavy and concentrated enemy artillery attack, Serjeant Kibby not only moved constantly from section to section cheering the men and directing their fire, but several times went out and restored the line of communication. On the night of 30th-31st October, again undeterred by withering enemy fire which mowed down his platoon, Serjeant Kibby pressed on towards the objective. Finally he went forward alone throwing grenades to destroy the last pocket of resistance, then only a few yards away, and was killed. Such outstanding courage, tenacity of purpose and devotion to duty was entirely responsible for the successful capture of the Company’s objective. His work was an inspiration to all and he left behind him an example and memory of a soldier who fearlessly and unselfishly fought to the end to carry out his duty’

His Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously and is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.

4270383 Private Adam Herbert Wakenshaw V.C


Date of Death: 27/06/1942, Age 28

Regiment/Service: Durham Light Infantry, 9th Bn

Grave Reference: XXXII. D. 9, El Alamein War Cemetery

In 1942 Private Wakenshaw was fighting in North Africa as part of a DLI anti-tank gun crew when enemy guns came within range. They attempted to destroy Wakenshaw’s anti-tank gun in order to advance and attack the British Infantry. The first German gun’s progress was stopped, but a second German gun killed or seriously wounded the DLI crew, including Wakenshaw, who lost his left arm. Despite this, he managed to fire five rounds and halt both German guns, before he was killed by a direct hit. His actions gave the nearby British Infantry enough time to safely withdraw, and for his self-sacrifice he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The London Gazette, dated the 8th September, 1942, gave the following details:

‘On the 27th June, 1942, south of Mersa Matruh, Private Wakenshaw was a member of the crew of a 2-pounder anti-tank gun. An enemy tracked vehicle towing a light gun came within short range. The gun crew opened fire and succeeded in immobilising the enemy vehicle. Another mobile gun came into action, killed or seriously wounded the crew manning the 2-pounder, including Private Wakenshaw, and silenced the 2-pounder. Under intense fire, Private Wakenshaw crawled back to his gun. Although his left arm was blown off, he loaded the gun with one arm and fired five more rounds, setting the tractor on fire and damaging the light gun. A direct hit on the ammunition finally killed him and destroyed the gun. This act of conspicuous gallantry prevented the enemy from using their light gun on the infantry Company which was only 200 yards away. It was through the self sacrifice and courageous devotion to duty of this infantry anti-tank gunner that the Company was enabled to withdraw and to embus in safety’


‘Private A.H Wakenshaw’ 1943, The National Archives, Catalogue Ref: INF 3/455

Major General John Charles (Jock) Campbell V.C, D.S.O, M.C


Date of Death: 26/02/1942, Age 48

Regiment/Service: General Staff, Cdg 7th Armd Div and Royal Artillery

Grave Reference: K171, The Cairo War Memorial Cemetery

Major General Campbell was born in Thurso. Commissioned into the Royal Horse Artillery he became a career soldier, joining the Royal Horse Artillery and became a first class horseman, excelling in both polo and hunting. 

When World War II started, Campbell was 45 years old and a major commanding a battery in the 4th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery in Egypt. When Italy declared war in June 1940, Campbell, by then a lieutenant-colonel, was commanding the artillery component of 7th Armoured Division’s Support Group under Brigadier William Gott. The British Army was heavily outnumbered by the Italians, so General Archibald Wavell formulated a plan with his senior commanders to retain the initiative by harassing the enemy using mobile all-arms flying columns. Campbell’s brilliant command of one of these columns led to them being given the generic name “Jock columns” (although it is unclear if the idea originated with Campbell or not).

During Operation Compass Campbell’s guns played an important role in 7th Support Group’s involvement in the decisive battle at Beda Fomm in February 1941 which led to the surrender of the Italian Tenth Army. In April 1941 Campbell was awarded the DSO.

In February 1942 when Gott was promoted to lead XIII Corps Campbell was promoted to the rank of Major General and given command of 7th Armoured Division. He was killed three weeks later when his jeep, driven by his Aide-de-Camp, Major Roy Farran overturned on a newly laid clay road surface. Major Farran, who was thrown clear in the process, later admitted that he had considered suicide whilst awaiting rescue. During the Western Desert Campaign Campbell was considered to be one of foremost commanders in the Eight Army, an old desert hand who had been in North Africa from the start of the war. His loss was deeply felt by the soldiers of the Eighth Army.

I’m very fond of the following description of him:

He led his tanks into action riding in an open armoured car, and as he stood there hanging onto its windscreen, a huge well built man with the English officers stiff good looks , he shouted ‘There they come, let them have it’ . When the car began to fall behind, he leapt onto the side of a tank as it went forward and directed the battle from there … they say that Campbell won the V.C half a dozen times that day. The men loved this Elizabethan figure. He was the reality of all the pirate yarns and tales of high adventure, and in the extremes of fear and courage he had only courage. He went laughing into the fighting’ 

The following particulars regarding his actions at Sidi Rezegh were given in “The London Gazette,” of 30th January, 1942:

In recognition of most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Sidi Rezegh, in Libya. On 21st November 1941 Brigadier Campbell was commanding a small force holding important ground in the area of Sidi Rezegh Ridge and Aerodrome. The force was repeatedly attacked by large numbers of tanks and infantry. Wherever the situation was most difficult and the fighting hardest Brigadier Campbell was to be seen with his forward troops either on foot or in an open car. In this car he carried out several reconnaissances for counter attacks and formed up tanks, under close and intense fire. The following day the enemy attacks were intensified. Brigadier Campbell was always in the forefront of the heaviest fighting, encouraging his troops, staging counter-attacks and personally controlling the fire of his guns. During the final enemy onslaught he was wounded but continued most actively in the foremost positions, controlling the fire of batteries which inflicted heavy losses on enemy tanks at close range. Throughout these two days his magnificent example and his utter disregard of personal danger were an inspiration to his men and to all who saw him. His brilliant leadership was the direct cause of the very heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy. In spite of his wound he refused to be evacuated and remained with his command where his outstanding bravery and consistent determination had a marked effect in maintaining the splendid fighting spirit of those under him’

‘The Last Journey of a Gallant Soldier’ Brigadier Arthur Harry Langham Godfrey DSO, MC, ED (El Alamein War Cemetery)

Whilst browsing the Australian War Memorial I came across a striking image – a photograph entitled ‘The last journey of a Gallant Soldier’ showing the body of Brigadier Arthur Harry Langham Godfrey en route to the cemetery at El Alamein in November 1942.


The body of Brigadier Godfrey en route to the cemetery at El Alamein (Image Source: The Australian War Memorial, 050013 refers) 

Godfrey was remembered as ‘happy go lucky, always smiling’, a ‘good mixer and a very sincere man’. Resourceful, courageous and compassionate, he administered discipline firmly and fairly. A former adjutant said of him, ‘he had the priceless gift of being able to move about, and be equally [at] home with all ranks . . . He was a fine commander too, clear and incisive’.


A Bugler playing the last post at the funeral of Brigadier Godfrey, El Alamein War Cemetery, Nov 1942 (Image Source: The Australian War Memorial,050012 refers) 

Arthur Harry Langham Godfrey (1896-1942), army officer and auctioneer, was born on 26 January 1896 at Camberwell, Melbourne, second child of Charles Edward Rowlandson Godfrey, a bank clerk from India, and his Victorian-born wife Isabel Frances, née Langham. Educated at Central College, Geelong, Arthur was employed as a clerk and served in the Militia with the 70th Infantry (Ballarat Regiment). On 11th January 1915 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force; went onto see service in Egypt and the Western Front where he was awarded the M.C for his part in leading a trench raid. Between the wars Godfrey lived at Newtown, Geelong, worked as an auctioneer for Strachan & Co. Ltd, stock and station agents, and was an active Freemason.

He resumed his involvement with the Citizen Military Forces in 1920. In 1927 he was promoted lieutenant colonel and seconded to the A.I.F. in 1939 to take command of the 2nd/6th Battalion which embarked for the Middle East in April 1940 for training in Palestine. Godfrey served at Tobruk where he led with ‘ability and purposefulness’ before being moved to Egypt to help block Axis forces advancing towards Cairo.

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Brigadier Godfrey (left) talking with Major General L Morshead, Alexandria, Egypt, c.1941 (Image Source:The Australian War Memorial,021164 refers)  

During the Battle of El Alamein Godfrey directed the brigade’s operations until the evening of 1 November when his tactical headquarters received a direct hit during an enemy artillery barrage. Seriously wounded in the abdomen, he died on 4 November 1942 and was buried in El Alamein war cemetery, A.I.A.1. He was survived by his wife Mabel and their three sons.


The original grave marker of Brigadier Godfrey, El Alamein War Cemetery (Image Source:The Australian War Memorial,050041 refers)  


Viscount David Andrew Noel Stuart (Alamein Memorial – Column 19)

Viscount David Andrew Noel Stuart was the son of Arthur Stuart, M.C., 7th Earl Castle Stewart, and Eleanor the Countess Castle Stewart, of Nutley, Sussex, and Stewartstown, County Tyrone. Viscount Stuart received his education at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied Languages prior to joining the service. He joined the 11th Hussars on 15th July 1942 and was described as a fine and extremely promising troop leader,  one much liked by his men.

Viscount David Noel Andrew Stuart, 11th Hussars

232729 Lieutenant David Andrew Noel Stuart

Age 21, Royal Armoured Corps, 11th Hussars, Panel Reference:Column 19, Alamein Memorial 

The War Diaries for the 11th Hussars state that enemy aircraft, including ME 109’s and CR 42’s attacked them at 1300 hrs on the 10th of November 1942. They came under further attack at 1500 hrs by a total of 7 ME109’s. The attack lasted for 25 minutes and consisted of bouncing bombs are low level machine gun strafing. Lieutenant D.A.N. Stuart, aged 21, was killed in this action and his driver – operator, Trooper Cahill was severely wounded. Three lorries were also destroyed in the course of the attack.The diaries state that Lieutenant Stuart will be greatly missed by his squadron and that he was buried near Bir Bibni 376354 by Major Wainman and Captain Wright (Doctor).

He is commemorated on column 19 of the Alamein Memorial in Egypt, the Stewartstown Cenotaph and on a Memorial Plaque in Donaghendry Church of Ireland, Stewartstown.


Interpreting Egypt’s War Cemeteries and Memorials

Cemeteries, the final resting places dedicated to our bodies after death, reflect the spiritual beliefs and preferences of every culture allowing families and others a place to go for visiting, mourning, reflecting and memorializing the dead. The Imperial War Graves Commission were charged to care for all members of the Armed Forces who ‘died from wounds inflicted, accident occurring or disease contracted, while on active service whether on sea or land’. It was empowered to acquire and hold land for cemeteries and for permanent memorials where appropriate. It was enjoined to provide for burials, to erect and care for memorials, to keep accurate registers of the fallen and to look after those graves which lay outside cemeteries.

At the first meeting of the Commission held in 1917, the major principles of the Commission were laid down and still hold true today. The views expressed were that ‘in the erection of memorials on the graves there should be no distinction between officers and men’. This was a radical departure from the past where Officers were individually recognised and ordinary soldiers were customarily buried with less respect than truly deserved. Furthermore, it was decreed that there should be no distinction between creed and nationality. Finally, Sir Fabian Ware, the Commission’s founder, explained that the cemeteries were constructed to last ‘in perpetuity’. Never before had the ordinary man been afforded such respect in death. Having established the simple but forward looking principles the challenge facing the Commission was to construct suitable resting places which adhered to these founding principles. I’m very fond of the Kipling quote who described the Commission’s task at their conception as ‘the biggest single bit of work since the Pharaohs and they only worked in their own country’

Whilst many people may only see a cemetery as just a place where the dead are laid to rest Egypt’s war cemeteries can be divided into distinct categories, each with their own individual histories.

Churchyard / Communal Cemeteries

These sites are usually extensions to existing civil cemeteries and often used for the earliest burials or on the grounds of religious preference where the opportunity existed to inter them in an already dedicated burial place.

Aswan Bandar British Cemetery

Alexandria (Chatby) Jewish Cemetery No 3

Alexandria (Chatby) British Protestant Cemetery

Cairo New British Protestant Cemetery

Old Cairo New Latin Cemetery

Port Said British Protestant Cemetery

Port Said Muhammadan Civil Cemetery


Cadet Jack Valentine, RAF, Age 21, Alexandria (Chatby) Jewish Cemetery No 3, Egypt (Image Source: The South African War Graves project) 

‘Hospital’ Cemeteries / Concentration cemeteries

These larger sites are found further to the rear and often situated where the main dressing stations and casualty clearance stations were located. Detailed analysis often indicates an upsurge of burials after documented engagements. The layout tends to be regimented, in formal rows, and almost 100% of the interments are identified casualties. Interestingly, the Egyptian hospital cemeteries have been enlarged over time as burials were relocated from remote cemeteries where permanent maintenance would not have been possible on a longer term basis.

Abbaasiya Indian Cemetery

Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery

Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery

Cairo War Memorial Cemetery

Fayid War Cemetery

Heliopolis War Cemetery

Kantara War Memorial Cemetery

Manara Indian Muhammadan Cemetery

Port Said War Memorial Cemetery

Suez War Memorial Cemetery


Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt (Image Source: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission) 

Concentration Cemeteries

Concentration cemeteries are very large sites, constructed and enlarged over time when battlefields were cleared and isolated cemeteries closed. In some cases, concentration cemeteries were extensions of battlefield cemeteries and the earlier irregular pattern of burials can be easily identified in comparison to the concentration burials which tend to be regimented in their layout. The cemetery at El Alamein, with over 6,000 burials, is one notable example as it contains the consolidated graves of men who died at all stages of the Western Desert campaigns and were brought in from a wide area.

El Alamein War Cemetery

Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery

Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery

Moascar War Cemetery

Suez African and Indian Army War Cemetery

Tel el Kebir War Memorial Cemetery

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El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt (Image Source: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission) 


The construction of Egypt’s memorials express the enormity of human sacrifice in wartime and commemorate Commonwealth servicemen who died during the First and Second World Wars and have no known grave. The Chatby Memorial commemorates almost 1,000 Commonwealth servicemen who died during the First World War and have no other grave but the sea. Many of them were lost when hospital ships or transports were sunk in the Mediterranean, sailing to or from Alexandria. Others died of wounds or sickness while aboard such vessels and were buried at sea.

Chatby Memorial

Alamein Memorial

Alamein Cremation Memorial

Fayid Memorial

Giza Memorial

Heliopolis (Aden) Memorial

Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial

Kantara Indian Cemetery memorial

Kantara Memorial

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The Chatby Memorial, Egypt (Image Source: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission) 

For further information on Egypt’s war cemeteries, opening times and locations please consult: