During the two world wars, the United Kingdom became an island fortress used for training troops and launching land, sea and air operations around the globe. There are more than 170,000 Commonwealth war graves in the United Kingdom, many being those of servicemen and women killed on active service, or who later succumbed to wounds. Others died in training accidents, or because of sickness or disease. The graves, many of them privately owned and marked by private memorials, will be found in more than 12,000 cemeteries and churchyards.
Glasgow was one of the ports of embarkation for the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 and several military hospitals opened in the city during the First World War, including the 3rd and 4th Scottish General (1,200 beds each), and the Merryflats War Hospital (500 beds). Battalions of a number of Scottish regiments had their headquarters at Glasgow during both wars, most notably the Highland Light Infantry. The Clydeside shipyards were targeted by German bombers during the Blitz, and Glasgow suffered a particularly ferocious attack on the night of 13/14 March 1941 when many civilians and servicemen were killed.
GLASGOW WESTERN NECROPOLIS contains 355 First World War burials, many of them grouped together in Section P, with a small group of Australian graves in Section N. A screen wall near the main entrance carries the badges of the regiments represented in Sections P and H. The 124 Second World War burials are scattered throughout the cemetery, although there are two among the earlier war graves in Section P. Also in this group are two inter-war service burials and two German war graves.
GLASGOW CREMATORIUM stands within the Western Necropolis and a memorial in the garden of rest commemorates one servicemen of the First World War and 72 of the Second World War whose remains were cremated there.