Vimy Ridge: The Crater Cemeteries

In this episode, we go ‘off the beaten track’ at Vimy Ridge and look at two unusual cemeteries on the battlefield here – Lichfield and Zivy Crater Cemeteries – where the Canadians buried their dead in some old mine craters in April 1917.

WW1 Trench Map

Made using the superb Great War Linesman mapping software.

The Red Flags mark the two cemeteries.

The IGN website for maps and historic air photos can be found here:


Podcast Extras:

Thanks to Stephen Kerr for the aerial photo of Zivy Crater.

16 Comments on “Vimy Ridge: The Crater Cemeteries

  1. Great podcast Paul, a few months back did some research for a distant relative of Albert Stubbs, besides his service file and other documents I did find a newspaper cutting in which his officer Lt. Noel Morris wrote, “Your son was holding an advanced listening post with other bombers when the enemy exploded a mine beneath them. Every effort was made to bring assistance, but we could find no trace of the men, the post where the disaster occurred was one of essential trust”. As part of the research, I created this overlay which shows both Zivy and Litchfield. You might be also interested to know that three men were reported missing when the mine exploded, Arthur Mellor and Robert Travis, were the other two, both their bodies were later found and they are buried at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez. The battalion war diary does mention them and notes ‘owing to the near proximity of the enemy it was impossible to recover the bodies of the missing who were undoubtedly killed by the explosion. I also have a newspaper cutting and a picture of Robert Travis, it confirms they were in a listening post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We had a local man go north to Canada ( not far away) and enlist in 1915. He went to France, was wounded, had the flu but was back in the line two weeks before Hill 70…. Where he was killed and his body never recovered. Thank you for the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’re in chalk which has good drainage so it’s not that common for them to be flooded, but there are a few like that – but not at Vimy.


  3. Excellent Pod Cast. My wife’s Grandfather took part in Vimy and was wounded for last (3rd )time early May 1917.


  4. A fascinating account of the development and the changing demographic of the CEF. I have not heard the Lichfield and Zivy Craters and hope to visit them on a future Leger tour. Nicholson’s book is available from Naval and Military Press for £15.99 plus about £4 postage.
    Nice to hear about the signallers as well. My late father served in the Royal Signals and would have been flattered to hear that they were drawn from the more intelligent soldiers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great podcast, Norm Christie says there is another shell crater cemetery but unmarked.

    I found this great documentary by Norm Christie about Vimy, the Canadians, their story, cemeteries with some great anecdotes.

    Great Canadian documentary about Vimy, Canada’s contribution, cemeteries and some great stories

    Liked by 1 person

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