British cemetery in Murmansk

A couple of years ago I wrote mentioning the British Cemetery in Murmansk from the WW1 days. Recently I got a request for grave photos, and received the following story from Alexandra’s Murmansk acquaintances that I’d like to share with you:

“…The British soldiers who dies in 1917-1919 were first buried together with Russians at a place where the rides park used to be on the Burkova street. But in the 20s (or in the 30s according to other sources) it was decided to move the remains of foreigners elsewhere… Several dozen of graves were opened, coffins dragged out and carted to their present location. What is now known as Planernoye pole (“glider field”) at the time was far beyond the city limits and was hardly visited by people. The desire to let the memory of the dead British to disappear is clearly seen in this decision. That’s when the wall around the cemetery was built. At the end of 80s and the beginning of 90s the cemetery truly fell into neglect – the wall partly fell apart, and nobody was looking after the graves. But soon the times had changed: the public, and then the authorities remembered to whom Murmansk owes its survival in the revolution and during the Civil War. In 1991 the abandoned cemetery was turned into a memorial and currently it is municipal property… Forty headstones, built in 1991 and financed by the UK veterans, in the shape of low stellas of the same shape, are arranged in three rows. Each stella has a tablet with the information on the dead, and often with an epitaph in his honour. Another 38 tablets are part of the wall…”

For names (in English), ranks (in Russian), regiments (in Russian), and exact grave locations within the cemetery see cultmemory.ru/full_libr/23.pdf, pages 7-11.

Photos by Oleg Filonok are here.

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Comments

British cemetery in Murmansk — 1 Comment

  1. As the person who requested photos of the headstones in this cemetery, I would like to publicly express my thanks to Pasha and Alexandra for their assistance in arranging for the photos to be taken for me. Your generous help is very much appreciated. Best wishes, Richard.

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