Southern and Eastern Serbia
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Niš, the ancient capital of Serbia, was the seat of the Serbian Government from the 25th of July 1914 until November 1915, and from November 1915 to October 1918 it was in Bulgarian hands. Chela Kula Military Cemetery takes its name from the Chela Kula Military Hospital, which in turn takes its name from the "Tower of Skulls" made by the Ottoman Empire in 1809 as a warning to Serbian revolutionaries after a great defeat in the First Serbian Uprising (1804-1813).
The cemetery contains French, Austrian, Hungarian and Bulgarian plots, besides Commonwealth and Serbian graves. (There was a German plot, but those graves have since been removed.) The British plot, in the South-West part, is enclosed by a low granite wall and contains the graves of 26 soldiers from the United Kingdom, seven Red Cross nurses, three sailors of the Royal Navy and three unidentified Marines. Of the 26 soldiers, 25 belonged to the Royal Army Service Corps (Mechanized Transport) and died of influenza after the Armistice with Bulgaria. Of the nurses, five belonged to the Scottish Women's Hospital. Two special memorials record the names of a sailor and a Marine, buried at Belgrade in 1915, whose graves could not be found. Thirty-eight of the British graves were brought in from Belgrade (Novo Groblje) Cemetery, Niš British Cemetery, Vranje British Cemetery, and other burial grounds.