National Cemetery Administration
Woodlawn Cemetery Soldiers' Lot
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
This soldiers' lot is closed to interments.
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
A Veteran's spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran.
Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial.
Woodlawn Cemetery is located on Harvard Road near Willard Street. Head west on Route 2 and take Route 110 - 111 exit. The cemetery will be on the left; the soldiers' lot is located in the back of the cemetery.
Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
For information on scheduled burials in our national cemeteries, please go to the Daily Burial Schedule.
The private and community cemeteries that contain NCA soldiers' and government lots, and Confederate cemeteries, do not always have staffed offices on site. When administrative information for the larger cemetery is available, it is provided below.
This soldiers' lot is overseen by the Massachusetts National Cemetery.
Please contact the national cemetery for more information.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing. Water will be available at outside faucets from April 15 to Oct. 10.
Containers such as pots, baskets, etc. are not authorized. Privately owned, permanent in-ground flower containers are not allowed.
Artificial flowers will be permitted on graves from Oct. 10 through April 15 and may be removed when their presence interferes with grounds maintenance. Potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday.
Christmas wreaths, grave pillows (3x2) and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Flags and flag holders are not permitted on graves at any time. The Avenue of Flags, which consists of donated casket flags, is displayed on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and other special occasions in lieu of individual grave flags.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, wind chimes, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on cemetery grounds. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Unauthorized items removed from graves and surrounding areas will be disposed of in a proper manner.
VA regulations 38 CFR 1.218 prohibit the carrying of firearms (either openly or concealed), explosives or other dangerous or deadly weapons while on VA property, except for official purposes, such as military funeral honors.
Possession of firearms on any property under the charge and control of VA is prohibited. Offenders may be subject to a fine, removal from the premises, or arrest.
The soldiers' lot is located in Ayer, Massachusetts, in Section 1, lots 193, 203, 206, and 211, of Woodlawn Cemetery. The federal government purchased the lots from Woodlawn Cemetery in 1918. Most of the 52 men interred in the soldiers' lot died at Fort Devens, which is located nearby. The last interment was made in 1931. All of the interments in the soldiers' lot are known.
Camp Devens was established in 1917 as part of the World War I mobilization effort. It was named after Major General Charles Devens, a Civil War veteran and Attorney General in the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes. Over the course of World War I, more than 100,000 troops came through the gates of Camp Devens. In 1931, the installation was renamed Fort Devens, and it continued to serve as a post for active duty soldiers until 1996, when it transitioned into an Army Reserve training center.
More than half of VA's national cemeteries originated with the Civil War and many are closed to some burials. Other sites were established to serve World War veterans and they continue to expand. Historic themes related with NCA's cemeteries and soldiers' lots vary, but visitors should understand "Why is it here?" NCA began by installing interpretive signs, or waysides, at more than 100 properties to observe the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015). Please follow the links below to see the interpretive signs for Woodlawn National Cemetery.
- A National Cemetery System
- Woodlawn National Cemetery
- Confederate Burials In The National Cemetery - Elmira Prison Camp
Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.