Brunssum was liberated in September 1944 by U.S. forces. Shortly afterwards the British 43rd (Wessex) Division made their headquarters in the town; they, in turn, were succeeded by the British 52nd (Lowland) Division. The first burials in the cemetery were made by an Advanced Dressing Station and a Casualty Clearing Station both situated at Merkelbeek, in November 1944, when the 43rd Division were engaged in clearing a triangle between the Rivers Roer and Maas. Later, other casualties were buried in the same place; these included fifty men who were killed while clearing mines on the German border at the beginning of January 1945. Operations in the Geilenkirchen sector account for most of the casualties buried here. There are over 300 1939-1945 burials in this cemetery, they are made up entirely of soldiers of the British Army, of whom one remains unidentified.