More than 600 British and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen from both World Wars and older conflicts are remembered at Arnos Vale Cemetery, including three recipients of Britain’s highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross, and veterans who survived the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo.
For many, their last resting place is a family plot. Throughout the cemetery, there are matching white stone markers and other headstones for men and women who lost their lives while serving in the Armed Forces, including fallen warriors from Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Norway as well as sons and daughters of Bristol. Major monuments include:
The names of nearly 200 casualties of war are recorded in bronze beneath the arches of the fine war memorial, which has dominated the slope above West Lodge, near the Bath Road entrance, since 1921 and which was restored by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in 2006. Most of the inscriptions honour service personnel who died in Bristol hospitals from injuries suffered in battle. Their bodies lie in the triangle of ground in front of the monument – a place known as ‘Soldiers Corner’. Other service personnel from WW1 are found in individual graves around the site.
Cross of Sacrifice
In the uppermost part of the cemetery stands the ‘Cross of Sacrifice’ and, near it, in ‘Sailors Corner’, the graves of over 40 sailors, including one from Poland, who died in Bristol hospitals during World War Two.
Behind the Crematorium, in the middle of the cloister, stands another CWGC monument inscribed with the names 68 military men and women who died in World War Two.
War graves map
A list of war graves locations can be obtained from the East Lodge, next to the Bath Road (A4) entrance. For information on other notable monuments and burials within Arnos Vale, including our grave search services, please contact us or visit https://arnosvale.org.uk/discover/heritage/notable-people/
War graves upkeep
The CWGC manages the care of the cemetery war war-memorial-insertgraves, with the help of two gardeners, the Probation Service and people on community service orders. Effective ground clearance and restoration work takes a high amount of time and money, however. So if you would like to honour Bristol’s war dead with a donation, or as a conservation volunteer, please consider volunteering, or contact the office on 0117 971 9117.
Services of Remembrance take place at Arnos Vale every November. For details, please see our calendar of events.