Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2009


The 14th DLI were holding the line between the Pilckem Road and the Yser Canal when an enemy barrage struck which killed Second Lieutenant JW Gamble.Also killed but not named in the regimental history were 4 other soldiers.The youngest of whom was 21 yearold Private William King from West Hartlepool.

William King is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery.

 

William King,Bard Cottage Cemetery

William King,Bard Cottage Cemetery

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


The Yser Canal lay to the north of Ypres and it it was across this barrier that the British Army had to be supplied. The largest and most famous of the bridges across the canal was no 4 Bridge (Brielen).This was a prime target for the enemy and around it the water was swollen with dead mules upon which fish and other creatures gorged themselves.

The Labour Corps had the hard and dangerous task of carrying heavy loads over No 4 and other bridges which were so precarious they could hardly be given the name. To slip and fall into the slimy depths often proved fatal and this was what happened to CT Wade from London.His body was at least recovered to save it from futher horrors.

He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, on the old Ypres – Boezinge Road.

 

CT Wade,Bard Cottage Cemetery

CT Wade,Bard Cottage Cemetery

Read Full Post »


 

Bard Cottage Cemetery,22 May 09

Bard Cottage Cemetery,22 May 09

For much of the First World war, the village of Boesinghe (now Boezinge) directly faced the German line across the Yser canal. Bard Cottage was a house a little set back from the line, close to a bridge called Bard’s Causeway, and the cemetery was made nearby in a sheltered position under a high bank. Burials were made between June 1915 and October 1918 and they reflect the presence of the 49th (West Riding), the 38th (Welsh) and other infantry divisions in the northern sectors of the Ypres Salient, as well as the advance of artillery to the area in the autumn of 1917. After the Armistice, 46 graves were brought in to Plot IV, Row C, from the immediate area, including 32 from MARENGO FARM CEMETERY (this was located a few hundred metres to the south of Bard Cottage, on the same side of the road. It was used from June 1915 to August 1916). There are now 1,639 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 39 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate three casualties known to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Read Full Post »


For much of the First World War, Vlamertinghe (now Vlamertinge) was just outside the normal range of German shell fire and the village was used both by artillery units and field ambulances. Burials were made in the original Military Cemetery until June 1917, when the New Military Cemetery was begun in anticipation of the Allied offensive launched on this part of the front in July. Although the cemetery continued in use until October 1918, most of the burials are from July to December 1917. The cemetery now contains 1,813 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

 

Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery,22 May 09

Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery,22 May 09

Read Full Post »


Samuel Colclough enlisted in September 1914 into the 13th Bn of The Cheshire Regiment.He was sent to France on 25 September 1915 and was wounded at the Somme on July 1916.After recovery he was posted to the 1/6th Bn of the regiment.

On 26th July 1917 the Bn were training and resting in a rear area but Samuel was attached to the 234th Field Company of the Royal Engineers.The war diary of that unit for the day in question states simply “1 attached killed and 5 OR wounded” but gives no further details.

The day before the company were working on the banks of the Yser Canal building dugouts at Hammond’s Corner.It seems likely that Samuel was killed here,probably by enemy shellfire.

Samuel Colclough,aged 21,is buried in Vlamertinghe New Miltary Cemetery.

 

Samuel Colclough,Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery

Samuel Colclough,Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery

Read Full Post »


The village of Reninghelst was in Allied hands from the autumn of 1914 to the end of the First World War. From March 1915, Commonwealth burials were made in the Churchyard, the Churchyard Extension and the New Military Cemetery, but in April 1918, during the Battles of the Lys, a new cemetery was made by field ambulances and fighting units near the hamlet of Ouderdom, on the Poperinghe-Wytschaete road. It was originally called OUDERDOM MILITARY CEMETERY, but later renamed Grootebeek British Cemetery, from the stream (Grootebeek, or Groote Kemmelbeek) which runs beside it. It was used at intervals until the end of September 1915 and it absorbed a small Indian cemetery made on the spot in April 1915. The cemetery contains 109 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. One grave destroyed by shell fire is now represented by a special memorial, and another special memorial records the name of Pte J. Lynn, VC, who was buried in Vlamertinghe Churchyard but whose grave was similarly destroyed. The two Second World War burials date from May 1940 and the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force ahead of the German advance. The cemetery was designed by W.H. Cowlishaw.

 

Grootebeek British Cemetery,23 May 2009

Grootebeek British Cemetery,23 May 2009

Read Full Post »


During an attack on Ypres on 2 May 1915 the Germans released a thick cloud of chlorine gas behind which their troops advanced.They were met by deadly fire from 4 machine guns,one of which was ably commanded by Pte John Lynn.

Suppplied by ammunition by his gun team Lynn poured fire into the gas cloud.When his visibility was impaired he set his gun up on a tree stump and fired from this position,swinging the gun to and fro so as to maximise the deadly arc of fire.When the Germans were within one hundred yards of the British line they began to falter and fled.

All through this Lynn did not have his respirator on but he continued firing til the attack was repulsed and then began to aid his comrades who were suffering badly from the effects of gas.

A short while later Lynn himself collapsed and he was transported to aid post and then field hospital where he died in great agony the next day.

To quote the regimental history “His fine example had an invaluable effect in steadying those around him and his self-sacrificing act was recognised by the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross”

John Lynn VC rests in Grootebeek British Cemetery.

 

John Lynn VC,Grootebeek British Cemetery

John Lynn VC,Grootebeek British Cemetery

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »