Kantara War Memorial Cemetery following the Great War, courtesy of Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Kantara War Memorial Cemetery is in Eastern Kantara, the cemetery is some 160 kilometres north-east of Cairo and a closer 50 kilometres to Port Said. You can reach the cemetery via passenger ferry from West Kantara, then a further 3 kilometres travel down the road from the wharf. You can also reach the cemetery via the Suez Canal Bridge, at Sinai head north towards Kanatara and the cemetery is just inside the township.
There are more than 1500 Commonwealth graves from the First World War at Kantara War Memorial Cemetery and a further 110 from the Second World War. In the First World War, Kantara was an essential defence point for the Suez Canal against German and Ottoman advances. A new railway towards Sinai and Palestine began construction in January 1916 and the area was established as a key base and hospital site, the development of the necessary cemetery soon followed.
Kantara was again an important hospital base in the Second World War with the No 1 General Hospital sited there for more than four years, as well as No 41 and No 92 hospital for times as well. This cemetery also holds nearly 350 graves of those outside the Commonwealth, notably a number of Polish burials from their No 8 Hospital which was based in the region during the Second World War.
In this cemetery there are also two special memorials. At its entrance is a panel inscribed with the names of New Zealand men who died at Romani and Rafa and have no known grave. There are also commemorative panels acknowledging the 283 Indian servicemen buried in the nearby Kantara Indian Cemetery. In 1961 that cemetery was deemed inaccessible, so its dead are commemorated at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery.
Image: Kantara War Memorial Cemetery following the Great War.
Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission archives.