Commonwealth war graves commission

The beauty of military cemeteries

They are starting to cut the corn. But apart from combine harvesters and tractors, the roads up here on the Somme ridges are empty, the villages more or less deserted. It’s been just me and my bike, the wind, the skylarks, the familiar English sky, the chalk ground, the strange flints, the green and famous woods, and the thousands of British dead lying under Portland headstones in these beautifully kept military cemeteries, the grander ones designed by Sir Herbert Baker. They dot the hillsides all around like defensive outposts of a lost civilisation of warrior gardeners. Airport bookshops a few years ago were selling a paperback called Is it Just