Surroundings of the Commonwealth cemetery
On camp road near Cannock Chase are two war cemeteries and two memorials. During World War One and World War Two a war camp was situated here complete with railroads and a hospital.
There is a commonwealth cemetery, a little behind it is German cemetery. Further up the road is a memorial to the Polish victims of the Katyn massacre and even further is a memorial to the Great Dane Freda. This dog was the mascot of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade and buried here in 1918.
The Commonwealth cemetery
Cannock Chase became the base for the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. The camps here housed 40.000 soldiers and in total 500.000 men were trained at this facility. Beside the camps were the soldiers trained was there a hospital to treat the wounded from the trench warfare in Belgium and France. The hospital had over a thousand beds and was used in Both World Wars.
Earl of Lichfield gave permission in 1916 to start a war cemetery on Cannock Chase. The cemetery has 97 Commonwealth graves from New Zealand and other nationalities, most of them died of the flu at the end of the war. Besides these commonwealth graves there are 228 German graves from the First World War and 29 German war graves from the Second World War. In 1963 fifty eight German graves were added to plot 4.
The Cemetery is free to visit and lies next to Camp road. There is a parking lot next to the cemetery.