Remembrance Day Service
The Remembrance Day services held ar Haycombe Cemetery will unfortunately not be taking place this year. Due to the coronavirus control measures we ask that members of the public and cemetery visitors do not gather at the War Memorial. We ask that you make your own private acts of remembrance at home. At eleven o'clock, wherever we are, we will think of all those who gave their lives for our freedom. We also remember the people of Bath who died during the bombing raids on our city. The symbolic Acts of Remembrance will be amde as fully as is reasonable at Haycombe within the restrictions in force at the time.
There will be a stand avaiable for placing wreaths for anyone who wishes to bring one privately. We hope that next year we will be able to join together to pay our respects once again.
Haycombe war graves section
Bereavement Service is justifiably proud of its war graves section, which it maintains on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).
The area is towards the end of the road leading to the crematorium car park and is unmistakeable with its typical war grave headstones, English garden planting and the Cross of Remembrance. It also boasts a tempettio - a small temple shaped building, built to house a Book of Remembrance . We think that there are only two in the country, so we are very proud that one is here. The Book of Remembrance is no longer there. It is safely stored in the council's archives.
The servicemen buried here are all casualties of the 1939 - 1945 war. They are mainly fliers, but are from many nationalities - including Italians and Germans as well as Canadians, Australians, Poles, etc. All are young and died before their time.
Other graves are spread throughout the cemetery marked by the distinctive CWGC memorials. Details can be found in the CWGC booklet entitled '1939 - 1945 The War Dead of the Commonwealth' 'Cemeteries and Churchyards in the county of Somerset' - notice how the title has changed from 'British Empire' to 'Commonwealth' between the wars.
Victoria Cross holders
Details of all the VC holders buried in the older Bath cemeteries prepared by a previous Cemeteries Superintendent is also kept at Haycombe. It is hoped to reproduce this in a leaflet format later this year.
The Bath Blitz happened over three nights in May of 1942. There are two rows of communal burials, where each person has a headstone in a similar fashion to the war graves. Bath and North East Somerset plants them and maintains them to as near the standard of the war graves as possible.
There is a memorial plinth dedicated to the memory of those killed on the nights of the blitz. Each Remembrance Day a service is held on the grass between the war graves and the blitz graves at Haycombe in recognition of the fact that both service personnel and civilians gave their lives.
There are two rows separated by a grassed area because it was thought at the time that Bath would not escape so lighlty (relatively) and more bombing was expected. So space was left for the anticipated victims, but fortunately never needed.
There is a memorial to the Crimean War in Abbey Cemetery.
Memorials for those who fought in almost every war since Waterloo are to be found in cemeteries or churchyards throughout the area.
Locksbrook cemetery - war graves section
The servicemen buried here are casualties of the 1911 - 1918 war and their details are included in the Commonwealth War Graves publication entitled 'The War Graves of the British Empire - Cemeteries and churchyards in the county of Somerset'.
There is a dedicated section with a Cross of Remembrance which is reached by following the roadway branching to the left not too far from the main entrance gates, leading up towards the mortuary chapels.
Other graves with the distinctive war graves headstones are spread throughout the cemetery, including some relating to those who died in the 1939 -1945 war, but whose families preferred them to be buried in family graves.
(For other information re VC graves, etc., see Locksbrook Cemetery)