Guillaume Apollonaire was a well-known French poet, writer and art critic from before the war. His mother was Polish and his father disappeared early on in his life. Apollinaire was considered among the first-rank of early 20th century poets and is credited with the word "surrealism". He was wounded here beneath the Chemin des Dames in the forehead in 1916. Following his wound, he continued to write some of his best known works. He was a victim of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 dying at the age of 38.
Following the disaster at Caporetto in October 1917, a large contingent of French and British troops had been sent to stabilize the Italian front along the Piave River. As a sign of mutual aid, the 2nd Italian Corps was sent to France on 25 April 1918 in response to the German Spring Offensives. Their main battles in France would occur during the Second Battle of the Marne in the latter part of July 1918. Here, the Italians fought along the Chemin des Dames capturing the nearby town of Soupir on 1 October. There are two Italian cemeteries here in France and this is the smaller of the two. The bodies of 593 soldiers who died mostly along the Chemin des Dames are buried here. Nearby are two French cemeteries – one has 7,806 graves, 2,822 in three ossuaries and 266 in a mass grave; the second contains 1,966 graves and 250 in an ossuary with another 545 soldiers who died in WWII, plus 33 Belgian civilians – and a German cemetery – 5,125 graves and 5,958 in a mass grave.
There are fourteen different French military cemeteries scattered about along the Chemin des Dames. This one is off the road up a short dirt stretch. It was created in 1917 on the site of a previous casualty clearing station. There are 1,159 graves here with autumn sedum planted atop.