In April 1915, No.6 Base Supply Depot was started at Calais to help relieve the pressure on Boulogne and to provide a base nearer to the front than Havre or Rouen. The base remained open until the last Commonwealth forces left France in March 1921.
The 30th, 35th and 38th General Hospitals, No.9 British Red Cross Hospital and No.10 Canadian Stationary Hospital were also stationed in the town providing about 2,500 beds.
For three years, Commonwealth burials were made in Calais Southern Cemetery, but it later became necessary to start a new site and in September 1917, the first burials took place at Les Baraques. The cemetery continued in use until 1921.
The cemetery now contains 1,303 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, together with more than 250 war graves of other nationalities, all but 2 of them German. The cemetery also contains seven Second World War burials. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.