Special Harrogate tours for War Graves Week

The public are being offered the rare chance to take part in a guided tour of the war graves of personnel from across the Commonwealth at Stonefall Cemetery, Harrogate as part of War Graves Week.

By Graham Chalmers
Monday, 16th May 2022, 4:38 pm
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 4:43 pm

This celebration of the remarkable everyday men and women who faced extraordinary times during the world wars and gave their lives for their communities includes the invitation to walk around the cemetery to learn about the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the stories of casualties from across the Commonwealth who are buried at Stonefall Cemetery.

War Graves Week runs from May 21-28 with the tagline "discover ordinary people extraordinary times".

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War Graves Week: During the Second World War almost 1,000 service personnel were buried at Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate.

The tours at Stonefall in Harrogate will run on the following dates:

Wednesday, May 25 (evening only)

Thursday, May 26

Saturday, May 28.

During the Second World War almost 1,000 service personnel were buried at Stonefall Cemetery.

Many of them came from across the Commonwealth and they include over 600 Canadian and almost 100 Australian service personnel alongside casualties from East Africa, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Fiji.

Elizabeth Smith, CWGC's Public Engagement Coordinator for the North East of England, said: ‘The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for 170 000 war graves from both World Wars at more than 12,500 locations in the United Kingdom.

"The Air Force plot at Stonefall Cemetery is unique in the North of England due to its size and resemblance to our sites overseas."

The starting point for the CWGC tour in Harrogate will be in front of the Crematorium and members of the public are asked to come dressed for the weather.

The tour involves walking on grass as well as paths and will last for approximately 90 minutes.

For daytime tours you can park within the cemetery but be mindful that the gates for vehicles are locked at 4pm at weekends and 4.30pm on weekdays.

For the evening tour on Wednesday, May 25, the vehicular gates will be locked.

Please access the cemetery via the pedestrian gates from Wetherby Road or Forest Lane.