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Archive for March, 2009


This Memorial is situated to the rear of Tyne Cot Cemetery and adjacent to the footpath to the new visitors centre.

 

Memorial to The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Memorial to The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

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An incident occured near Vierstaat on 5th September 1915 which indicated that the gaining of experience during wartime can be a costly and painful business.Members of a new and untrained regiment made their way along the skyline of a ridge with the sun behind them.The Germans soon spotted them and shells began to fall.The first salvo missed and by the time the second arrived the party were out of harm’s way.Unfortunately the Germans had ranged a barn occupied by two platoons of the Lancashire Fusiliers and the outcome was 14 dead,6 fatally wounded and 27 injured.

28 year old William Sephton of Southport was among them and he now rests in Ridge Wood Military Cemetery.

 

Pte William Sephton,Ridge Wood Military Cemetery

Pte William Sephton,Ridge Wood Military Cemetery

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On the 2nd of September the 4th Lincolns were in reserve at the Embankment Dugouts when a sudden and savage bomabardment was unleashed on the position by the Germans.

As suddenly as it had started it ended and 7 men lay dead with another 6 badly wounded.Among those killed was Billy Grocock of Boston – a true man of Lincoln.

William Henry Grocock is buried in Railway Dugouts Burial Ground.

 

Pte Willian Henry Grocock,Railway Dugouts Burial Ground

Pte Willian Henry Grocock,Railway Dugouts Burial Ground

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Captain Wood had already been awarded the Military Cross for his actions on 31 July 1917.He had led his men against a series of concrete forts and survived despite the deadly toll all around him.

On the night of 25 August 1917 the 2nd Wiltshires were in a relatively quiet part of the line.He was supervising a barbed wire erection party when a single shot rang out.He was hit in the chest and died soon after.

Captain WB Wood is buried in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery.

 

Captain WB Wood,Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery

Captain WB Wood,Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery

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Tom Simpson was badly wounded by shellfire on the 22nd August when his battalion was involved in a minor attack against Beck House and Potsdam Redoubt.He was taken to the Remy Farm Casualty Clearing Station near Poperinghe and died the next day.

Thomas Barrie Simpson is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

 

Pte Thomas Barrie Simpson,Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

Pte Thomas Barrie Simpson,Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

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On 21 July 1917 the 3 Casualty Clearing Stations at Brandhoek were set up,10 days before the Third Battle of Ypres.Some,however,believed that this  was too close to the battle zone.It was adjacent to the infamous Poperinghe to Ypres road and as such subjected fire by enemy guns.General Gough,the 5th Army Commander, was confident of success however and believed that the advance would be so rapid that these positions would soon be miles behind the attacking troops.

Sadly,the fears of those who had urged caution were proved to be correct  and on 21 August all 3 Clearing Stations were shelled all day. Staff worked flat out to evacuate the wounded and due to there being no ambulance train this meant packing men into ambulances. Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler was in the open having loaded an ambulance when a shell burst which killed 2 accompanying orderlies outright.She was badly wounded,lost consciousness and died 20 minutes later.

Nellie was one of only 2 British women,both nurses, to be killed in the Ypres Salient during the war.Her funeral was attended by 4 generals and the Surgeon -General of the Army along with 100 officers and countless other ranks.General Gough did not attend but he did manage to send a bunch of flowers.

Nellie Spindler is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

 

Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler,Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler,Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

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Lt Jim Marsland was on patrol in No Man’s Land near Hooge on the night of 13th August.There were high levels of patrolling by both sides and in any clash the first few seconds were vital.To give himself an extra edge Marsland had pulled the pin from a grenade and had it ready to throw.He was hit in the head by a bullet and although the wound was not immediately fatal it caused him to release the trigger of the bomb which then exploded,blowing his hand off.

He was recovered to the British trenches and then to a hospital but there was never really any hope.He held on for two days, continually raving about a boxing match which he had refereed a few dyas before.He lapsed into a coma and died on the morning of 15th August 1915.

James Francis Marsland is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

 

Lt James Francis Marsland,Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

Lt James Francis Marsland,Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

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