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During the First World War, Le Havre was one of the ports at which the British Expeditionary Force disembarked in August 1914. Except for a short interval during the German advance in 1914, it remained No.1 Base throughout the war and by the end of May 1917, it contained three general and two stationary hospitals, and four convalescent depots.
The first Commonwealth burials took place in Division 14 of Ste Marie Cemetery in mid August 1914. Burials in Divisions 19, 3, 62 and 64 followed successively.
A memorial in Plot 62 marks the graves of 24 casualties from the hospital ship 'Salta' and her patrol boat, sunk by a mine on 10 April 1917. The memorial also commemorates by name the soldiers, nurses and merchant seamen lost from the 'Salta' whose bodies were not recovered, and those lost in the sinking of the hospital ship 'Galeka' (mined on 28 October 1916) and the transport ship 'Normandy' (torpedoed on 25 January 1918), whose graves are not known.
There are now 1,690 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in this cemetery, 8 of which are unidentified.