The cemetery grounds were assigned to the United Kingdom in perpetuity by King Albert I of Belgium in recognition of the sacrifices made by the British Empire in the defence and liberation of Belgium during the war.
The cemetery, also known as Ravine Wood Cemetery, was founded in March 1915 and closed in August 1917. Being directly on the front line, the cemetery was repeatedly shelled and the original locations of the graves could not be established. The majority of the stones are therefore arrayed in a circle around the Cross of Sacrifice and are marked "known to be buried in this cemetery", with the default additional phrase "Their glory shall not be blotted out", a line suggested by Rudyard Kipling.
The cemetery was designed by J R Truelove.