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Archive for June, 2009


Cement House Cemetery,12 June 09

Cement House Cemetery,12 June 09

Langemark has given its name to the Battles of 21-24 October 1914 and 16-18 August 1917. The village was in German hands from April 1915 to August 1917 and from April to September 1918. Commonwealth, French and Belgian forces have in turn defended and attacked it. “Cement House” was the military name given to a fortified farm building on the Langemark-Boesinghe (now Boezinge) road. The original Cement House Cemetery (now Plot I, an irregular group of 231 graves) was begun here at the end of August 1917 and used by the 4th and 17th Division burial officers, by field ambulances and by units in the line until April 1918. In the years immediately following the Armistice, most of Plots II – XV were added when Commonwealth graves were brought in from the battlefields and small burial grounds around Langemark and Poelkapelle, mostly dating from the Autumn of 1917. The more important graveyards or groups of graves concentrated into this cemetery were the following:- ASQUILLIES CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of eleven British soldiers of November 1918. AUDREGNIES CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of eight British soldiers of August 1914 and one of November 1918. ELVERDINGHE CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of nine British soldiers of October 1914. HENSIES CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of one Canadian and three British soldiers of November 1918 and one British soldier of August 1914. HEULE CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of six British soldiers and one unidentified airman buried in October 1918. MAISIERES COMMUNAL CEMETERY, which contained the graves of sixteen British soldiers of August 1914. MEERENDRE CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of four R.A.F. officers buried in October 1918. OOSTNIEUWERKE CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of five Canadian and five British soldiers of April 1915 and one British officer of October 1914. PHEASANT TRENCH CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, was in the fields a little East of Langemarck village. Pheasant Trench and Pheasant Farm were taken by the 51st (Highland) Division on the 20th September, 1917, but the cemetery was begun two months later. It contained the graves of fourteen soldiers from the United Kingdom. PROVEN CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of one Canadian officer and three British soldiers. QUAREGNON COMMUNAL CEMETERY, which contained the graves of eight British soldiers buried in 1914. ROLLEGHEM CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of one R.A.F. officer and four British soldiers buried in 1918. THULIN NEW COMMUNAL CEMETERY, which contained the graves of eight British soldiers of August 1914 and two R.A.F. officers of October 1918. WINKEL ST. ELOI CHURCHYARD, which contained the graves of thirty British and four Newfoundland soldiers buried in October 1918. Plots XVI, XVII and XVIII originally contained some 500 French graves, but these were removed in 1922. The space vacated has been filled in over the intervening years by graves brought in from communal cemeteries and churchyards in the area, when their maintenance in these locations could no longer be assured. The cemetery is still used for the burial of remains that continue to be discovered in the vicinity, and a number of plots have been extended to accommodate these graves. There are now 3,592 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery, 2,425 of the burials are unidentified. Of the 22 Second World War burials in the cemetery, five are unidentified. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

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On 16th October 1914 the Life Guards were near Westrozebeke searching for German patrols.As the squadron approached Ostbieuwerke,with Duffin the lead, a shot rang out from a farm window.

Lieutenant Duff fell from his saddle and was probably dead before he hit the ground.He was buried by the Germans that night but the next day the local Mayor,Prosper Vande Pitte,had his body removed to the local cemetery.

It lay there for nearly 40 years and was tended by the family of one of the buglers of the Last Post Association.When the cemetery was closed in 1950/51 he was reinterred in his final resting place.

Robin George Vivian Duff now rests in Cement House Cemetery.

Robin George Vivian Duff, Cement House Cemetery

Robin George Vivian Duff, Cement House Cemetery

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Arthur Crow was killed following an attack north of Poelcappelle village.His entry in Cemetery House Cemetery states:

“Enlisted in the Artists’ Rifles in August 1914 and resigned his Captaincy in the Loyal North Lancs Regt on July 1916.Finding on recovery that he could not regain his former rank without abandoning foreign service,he thereupon enlisted as a Private”.

This brave man,Arnold Arthur Crow,is buried in Cement House Cemetery.

Arnold Arthur Crow,Cement House Cemetery

Arnold Arthur Crow,Cement House Cemetery

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Cpl Henry Fayerbrother of the 21st Brigade recorded these words of the incident which led to the death of Gunner Walker:

“A platoon of the Rifle Brigade was passing up. My 2 signallers,Walker and Chisnell,were on the phone,connected to the forward OP,with Franklin restiing in the pit down a few steps.Hearing that the line to Brigade was down,I crawled put with the linesman to find the break and repair it. A salvo of 5.9s came over and we raced for shelter back to our signal pit but it was crowded to the entrance.I can see them now,Gun Sergeant Keller calling “Come on Corporal”,but I and my linesman ran to a sheet of iron behind the pillbox by the cooks’ shanty.Within seconds a shattering explosion rocked the massive concrete structure.As soon as the dust and smoke had cleared,we left our flimsy shelter.John Walker was coming towards me,blindly groping the air,the lower half of his head blown away.I led him to our shelter nd he died making terrible noises through his shattered throat. He had been on the duty phone at the seat farthest from the door,and he must have clawed his way past Franklin and Chisnell,who had been killed along with Gun Sgt Kellet.We buried them by the shell holes at the roadside of shattered Langemark.”

Kellet,Chisnell,Franklin,Sands and John Robert Walker lie side by side in Cement House Cemetery.

John Robert Walker,Cement House Cemetery

John Robert Walker,Cement House Cemetery

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22 May 09

22 May 09

22 May 09

22 May 09

View from the bridge at Menin Gate Memorial

View from the bridge at Menin Gate Memorial

Guys fishing near the Memorial

Guys fishing near the Memorial

View from the bridge of the ramparts and moat.

View from the bridge of the ramparts and moat.

Menin Gate Memorial,22 May 2009

Menin Gate Memorial,22 May 2009

Inside the Memorial,22 May 09

Inside the Memorial,22 May 09

22 May 09

22 May 09

22 May 09

22 May 09

Crowds gather for the service,22 May 09

Crowds gather for the service,22 May 09

Service underway,22 May 09

Service underway,22 May 09

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The Huts Cemetery


The Huts Cemetery,22 May 09

The Huts Cemetery,22 May 09

This cemetery takes its name from a line of huts strung along the road from Dickebusch (now Dikkebus) to Brandhoek, which were used by field ambulances during the 1917 Allied offensive on this front. Plots I to X and XII to XIV were filled between July and November 1917. Plots XV and XI followed. Nearly two-thirds of the burials are of gunners as many artillery positions existed nearby. The cemetery was closed in April 1918 when the German advance (the Battle of the Lys) brought the front line very close. The advance was finally halted on the eastern side of the village, following fierce fighting at Dickebusch Lake, on 8 May. There are now 1,094 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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Cyril served with the 9th Bty of the New Zealand Field Artillery.He was killed age 28 on the 19th of March 1918.

He was the son of the late J. F. B. and Florence H. Peacocke, of Remuera, New Zealand and had served in the Mounted Rifles at Gallipoli.

I took this picture of his grave as someone had left a poppy on his grave so I hope that person sees this post.RIP.

Cyril Peacocke,The Huts Cemetery

Cyril Peacocke,The Huts Cemetery

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