The village and the greater part of the commune of Zillebeke were within the British lines until the end of April, 1918, and the village was retaken by the II Corps on the 8th September, 1918. Birr Cross Roads (named by the 1st Leinsters from their Depot) is a point on the Menin Road. The cemetery was begun in August, 1917, and used as a Dressing Station cemetery until, and after, the German advance in 1918. It contained at the Armistice nine irregular rows of graves, now part of Plot I. The Cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of 1914-1918 graves from the battlefields immediately surrounding it and from certain smaller graveyards.
There are now over 800, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over two-fifths are unidentified and special memorials are erected to six soldiers from the United Kingdom and three from Australia, known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 18 soldiers from the United Kingdom buried in Birr Cross Roads Cemetery No. 2 and the Union Street Graveyards, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire, and of one Belgian Interpreter whose grave cannot now be found. The cemetery covers an area of 2,711 square metres and is enclosed by a low brick wall.
Of the graveyards concentrated into Birr Cross Roads Cemetery:
- BELLEWAARDE RIDGE MILITARY CEMETERY, ZONNEBEKE, was a little way North-East of Bellewaarde Lake, almost on the top of the low hill which rises northwards from the Menin Road between Hooge and Clapham Junction. It contained the graves of 17 soldiers from Australia, and eleven from the United Kingdom, who fell in September and October, 1917. The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge was fought on the 24th-25th May, 1915; the Attacks on Bellewaarde were delivered, unsuccessfully, in June and September, 1915; and the Ridge, taken in July, 1917, and given up in April, 1918, was finally retaken by the 9th (Scottish) Division on the 28th September, 1918.
- BIRR CROSS ROADS CEMETERY No. 2, 69 metres South of No. 1 (the present cemetery), contained the graves of 18 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in July and August, 1917.
- UNION STREET GRAVEYARDS No. 1 and No. 2, ZILLEBEKE, were due North of Zillebeke village, between Gordon House and Hell Fire Corner. They contained the graves of 19 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in August and September, 1915. The cemetery itself is located 2.5 km along the Meenseweg on the right hand side of the road.
Burials (Commonwealth War Graves Commission):
- United Kingdom: 660
- Canada: 16
- Australia: 143
- New Zealand: 12
- South Africa: 1
- Other Commonwealth: 1
- Total Commonwealth: 833
- Other Nationalities: 1