The majority of the around 1100 soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Adegem Belgium are Canadian, but there are also graves from other Commonwealth Nationals like Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Also 33 Polish and 2 French soldiers are buried here.
After the war the remains of soldiers in isolated graves and communal cemeteries from around the area have also been moved to this Canadian War Cemetery as well as soldiers who lost their lives elsewhere in Belgium.
Operation Switchback and the Battle of the Scheldt
Most of these men fell during “Operation Switchback” (Oct 6th to Nov 3rd 1944) also known as the closing of the “Breskens Pocket”, which was an operation to cross the Leopold canal and capture and clear the area south of the Schelde river and was part of the Battle of the Scheldt. The Allied advance needed to shorten it’s supply lines and needed to use the port of Antwerp for this reason. This wouldn’t be possible however without clearing the Schelde estuary of the remaining German Forces that still controlled the shipping route. The Germans had flooded parts of the area and had used the Leopold canal in Belgium as a defense line. The fighting was brutal and it took several weeks to clear the objective with many casualties on both sides.
Visit the Canadian War Cemetery Adegem
The cemetery lies right beside the N9 road between the cities of Brugge and Gent and is freely admissible.