During the turn-of-the-20th century, the American, British and American residents of Beirut faced a curious problem. The cemeteries where they foreign national could be buried were quickly filling up. 

As such, the British Ambassador, the administration of the Syrian Protestant College (as AUB was then called) and the American Mission came together in 1913 and established and association for the Anglo-American Cemetery (AAC). A plot of land was selected in Beirut's southern suburb of Furn el-Shubbak, which was one of the terminal stop for the newly established Beirut Tramway. The first grave was dug in July 1914 for the British national Waldemer Vernon Vogel and is located near the east wall. 

The AAC was originally registered under the British Consul, the American Mission Press and the Syrian Protestant College. Graves for important individuals from these and affiliated institutions are located in the AAC, especially as graves from the American Mission Cemetery were removed to the AAC in 1960. In addition to British, Commonwealth and American citizens, individuals with a variety of nationalities were also laid to rest in the AAC, including individuals holding dual-citizenship. Most were members of Protestant churches in the region, although individuals with Catholic affiliation can also be found. In 1924, the Armenian community purchased a section of the AAC lands to establish a distinct cemetery for their community. 

The AAC is currently in a phase of rehabilitation following the difficult years of the Lebanese Civil War. During these turbulent years, many graves and cenotaphs were damaged, while upkeep was difficult. Restoration is essential to restore the cemetery to its proper condition, as a sacred space for those who have died and a peaceful respite for the living.

Guardianship over the cemetery is currently shared between the British and American Embassies, All Saints Church, the International Community Church and the American University of Beirut under the auspices of the Anglo-American Cemetery Association.

Christine B. Lindner
5 April 2014
Creative Commons License
History of the Anglo-American Cemetery by Christine B. Lindner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

1 comment:

  1. hi christine. this is a great site. i wondered if you could tell me if this is the same cemetery that is referred to as "al-inglizi" in tahwita? thanks so much.