Geel War Cemetery
Historical Information (Source: CWGC)
The British Expeditionary Force was involved in the later stages of the defence of Belgium following the German invasion in May 1940, and suffered many casualties in covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. Commonwealth forces did not return until September 1944, but in the intervening years, many airmen were shot down or crashed in raids on strategic objectives in Belgium, or while returning from missions over Germany.
In the early part of September 1944, Geel was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting encountered by Commonwealth troops since they had left Normandy. The 50th (Northumbrian) Division and the 15th Scottish Division were both involved here in the forcing of crossings of the Albert Canal and the Meuse-Escaut Canal, necessary for the advance into Holland. Some of the casualties they suffered were originally buried in a meadow near the centre of the commune, and some in the St. Dymphna civil cemetery; these graves were later moved into Geel War Cemetery.
The cemetery contains 400 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, six of them unidentified, it was designed by the Commission's Principal Architect, Philip Hepworth, FRIBA.