On our way from Wolfsschlucht 2 towards the French town Compiègne we drove past a French World War One military cemetery named “Cimetière National du Bois Robert”.
It is named after the wood nearby and is the largest French military cemetery in the Aisne region.
In the First World War the region was on the frontline. The chalk mines in and around Chemins des Dames were used as shelter for storage or any other military purpose you can think of. Fighting in this region was bitter and hard. The German army got hold of Fort Malmaison further up the region and they dug in and the frontline was kept here for a longer period during World War One.
The frontline went from the borders of France in the east all the way up to Ieper and Pachendale in Belgium.
Most of the men in this cemetery are believed to have fallen fighting on the Confrécourt plateau.
There are 10266 graves on this cemetery. There are 8157 individual graves on the field and there are 3076, mostly unknown soldiers, buried here in mass graves.
In this cemetery there are 555 regrouped graves from the Second World War, 76 civilians and one Russian.
We encountered lots of African / Arabian style gravestones, soldiers from the French colonies back in the days.
Once there were British soldier buried on the cemetery as well, fallen in 1918. They are reburied in the Vauxbuin French Military Cemetery. There is big Commonwealth section on this field.
Cimetière National du Bois Robert lies on the road N31 /N46 from Soisson to Compiègne near the town of Ambleny.