GENERAL DIRECTIONS: The cemetery lies 2km east of Mons on the N90 a road which leads to Charleroi. On reaching St. Symphorien a right turn from the N90 leads onto the Rue Nestor Dehon. The cemetery lies 200m along this road.
Access and parking are easy, although the cemetery is quite hilly and may be difficult to walk around for some; there is also a flight of steps at the entrance to the cemetery.
This cemetery was started by the Germans after the Battle of Mons in 1914. The site was an artificial mound, on the highest point of which, a grey granite obelisk, 23m high was erected, with a German inscription which reads; "In memory of the German and English soldiers who fell in the actions near Mons on the 23rd and 24th August 1914"
Originally, the Germans buried 245 of their own soldiers and 188 British soldiers here; another 27 British graves were moved here after the armistice. Subsequently additional British, Canadian and German graves were brought in from other burial grounds, bringing the total number of burials to over 200.
Further Information: This cemetery also contains the graves of the first (Private J. Parr, Middlesex Regt, 21st August 1914) and the last soldier (Private G. L. Price, Canadian Infantry, 11th November 1918), to be killed during the 1914-1918 war.
The last British soldier believed to have been killed just before the armistice on 11/11/1918 was Private George Ellison, 5th Lancers, who is also buried in this cemetery.
CEMETERIES CONCENTRATED INTO ST. SYMPHORIEN MILITARY CEMETERY:
Gembloux Communal Cemetery
Havre Old Communal Cemetery
Spiennes Communal Cemetery
St. Symphorien Churchyard
St. Symphorien Communal Cemetery
Wasmes-en-Borinage Communal Cemetery
VICTORIA CROSS: Lieutenant Maurice James Dease, VC, 4th Bn. Royal Fusiliers, killed in action 23/08/1914 aged 24. Plot 5 . B. 2., Son of Edmund F. and Katherine M. Dease, of Levington, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. One of the first British officer battle casualties of the war and the first posthumous recipient of the VC of the war.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 16th Nov., 1914. records the following:- "Though two or three times badly wounded he continued to control the fire of his machine guns at Mons on 23rd Aug., until all his men were shot. He died of his wounds."
CASUALTY DETAILS: UK 227; Canada 2; Germany 284; Total Burials: 513