Military Cemetery, Broadhurst Green, Cannock Chase

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Description:Photograph possibly taken on the first ANZAC Day observance at the Military Cemetery at Broadhurst Green.

Written upon the crosses it states New Zealand Rifle Brigade and also New Zealand Expeditionary Force along with the name of the soldier. By the time the New Zealanders arrived on Cannock Chase Lord Lichfield had granted an area of land near Broadhurst Green to be used as a military cemetery. Local graveyards in Rugeley were filling up with the dead from the new military hospital and therefore a dedicated resting place was needed. Most of those at what eventually became the Commonwealth Cemetery were either New Zealanders or German Prisoners of War from Brocton Camp who died from the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19 that swept across the globe. If the bodies could not be repatriated they were laid to rest by the sides of their comrades. Some of the New Zealanders had contracted the deadly flu virus on board ship sailing from home and never even saw the Western Front, or contracted it on arrival.

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Donor ref:13_016r (215/36451)

Source: Mr Jake Whitehouse

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