The "Oosttaverne Line" was a German work running northward from the Lys, to the Comines Canal, passing just East of Oosttaverne. It was captured on the first day of the Battle of Messines, the 7th June, 1917, the village and the wood being taken by the 19th (Western) and 11th Divisions; and two cemeteries, No. 1 and No. 2, were then made by the IX Corps Burial Officer on the present site and used until September, 1917. They are contained in Plot I, II, and III of the present Cemetery, which was completed after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from the surrounding battlefields (including many from Hill 60) and from German cemeteries. From the 1939-45 War, most men were killed in late May and early June 1940, during the fierce fighting covering the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force to Dunkirk.
There are now 1,119 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-18 war, 783 of which are unidentified. A Special Memorial is erected to a soldier of the 1914-1918 war from the United Kingdom, buried in Three Houses German Cemetery, Hollebeke, whose grave could not be found. There are 117 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-45 war, 9 of which are unidentified, commemorated in this site. There is 1 French Foreign National burial of the 1914-1918 war here, to the left of the Entrance, also there are 2 unidentified German Foreign Nationals of the 1914-1918 war buried in Plot I, Row B, Grave 7. The cemetery covers an area of 4,339 square metres and is enclosed by a low rubble wall. The Battle Memorial of the 19th Division, a granite cross, is erected by the Herberg de Sterkte, at the cross-roads North-West of the cemetery.
The following were among the burial grounds from which British graves were brought to Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery:
- HOOGEMOTTE FARM GERMAN CEMETERY, WERVICQ, on the Belgian side of the Lys, towards Comines; a permanent cemetery, which contained, in addition to German graves, those of twelve soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in April, 1918.
- HOUTHEM-LES-YPRES GERMAN CEMETERY, on the West side of the village; a permanent cemetery in which 17 soldiers and airmen from the United Kingdom were buried in 1916-17.
- INDERSTER GERMAN CEMETERY, BECELAERE, named from a cabaret on the road to Broodseinde; made by the XXVII Reserve Corps, and containing the graves of 53 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October and November, 1914.
- KOEKUIT GERMAN CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, on the road to Houthulst, in which eight soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried in October, 1914.
- TENBRIELEN-AMERIKA GERMAN CEMETERY, in the Haut-Bois, North of Comines, now containing about 850 graves. Six soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried here in April, 1917.
- THREE HOUSES GERMAN CEMETERY, HOLLEBEKE (or HOLLEBEKE CEMETERY No. 60), on the Kortevilde-Verbrandenmolen road, across the canal; three soldiers from the United Kingdom and two from Canada were buried there in 1916.
- ZWAANHOEK GERMAN CEMETERY, BECELAERE, on the South side of the Molenhoek-Reutel road; made by the XXVII Reserve Corps, and containing the graves of six soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October, 1914.
Burials (Commonwealth War Graves Commission):
- United Kingdom: 923 (+ 117 WW II)
- Canada: 133
- Australia: 43
- New Zealand: 19
- Undivided India: 1
- Total Commonwealth: 1119 (+ 117 WW II)
- Other Nationalities: 2