A History of Langemark German Cemetery and Self-Guided Tour
By Roger Steward
Uniform Press, 2021
Langemark cemetery is one of the most visited sites in the Ypres salient, popular with school trips looking to explore the German side of the war, the casual visitor, and battlefield regulars alike. Its history and the wealth of features here means there is a lot to see and discuss. Unfortunately, much of it has become confused in the telling and sometimes it is difficult to separate the fact from the fiction. Roger Steward’s volume is therefore an overdue but welcome antidote to this.
The book is split into two sections, the first telling the background and history of the cemetery and the second a self-guided tour. The first part does not have to be read before using the guide (although it is recommended), as the guide does naturally duplicate a lot of the information set out in the history section. It is often commented that German cemeteries have a very different look and feel to the CWGC cemeteries, and Steward explains the reasons for this.
Archival material has been used to good effect to show the changes the cemetery has been through, illustrated with relevant images and design plans. At the back are a timeline, glossary of terms, and a handy ‘myths and urban legends’ section.
This is a slim volume but one packed full of useful information, and will no doubt be a must-have in the pocket of many a guide. If you are not lucky enough to get it for Christmas do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a copy!
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