Archive for September, 2010

This memorial is located 9 km to the south of Ypres,well worth a visit.


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Looking toward the Menin Gate Memorial from Ypres Grosse Markt,August 2010

To the south and east of Zillebeke in ¬†August 1915 the 9th Scottish Division were enduring a long spell in the trenches. This was an area where mining under both sides’ trenches was rife and positions could be blown up at any time.As the history of the division records:

“Noises alleged to be German mining n the Corps front were actually traced to be a)revetting b)sentries stamping their feet c)rats burrowing on the parapet d)a loose beam or branch blowing in the wind e)running water f)the beating of a man’s own heart g)a half dead fly buzzing at the bottom of a whole(this was taken for a machine drill and h)actual mining.

While most reports were indeed false alarms the threat was always there and at 4am on the morning of the 15th of October 1915 the Germans blew a mine about 25 yards in front of a trench near the Bluff.

15 men were killed and 60 wounded,among them was Tom McBride of Airdrie who was crushed by falling debris.He is remembered on Panels 42 and 44 of The Menin Gate Memorial.

Cloth Hall,Ypres,August 2010

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Beauchamp Tyndall Pell DSO, Zantvoorde British Cemetery,August 10

During the 1st Battle of Ypres the British positions near Gheluvelt village began to reach crisis point.

The 1st Queen’s were surrounded on 3 sides and their acting CO ordered his battalion to retire 400 yards to escape the closing trap.A stretcher party was formed to move the CO,Lt Col Pell, who had been badly wounded earlier.Joined by other members of the battalion the stretcher party fought its way out.However this safety lasted only a few minutes as the Germans attacked again and completely¬†annihilated the brave Surrey men. 9 officers and 624 men were killed or taken prisoner.

Lt Col Pell died of wounds whilst in German hands and now lies in Zantvoorde British Cemetery.

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Harvey Watt Cockshutt,Zantvoorde British Cemetery,August 10

On the 2nd of June 1916 the Canadian positions in Hill 62/Mount Sorrel came under a heavy barrage as the Germans sought to wrest them into their possession.

The 4th Canadian Rifles lost almost all their number,only 76 being uninjured from 702 as the Germans captured Sanctuary Wood.

Last reported alive near Mount Sorrel,Harvey Cockshutt was listed as missing on the 2nd of June 1916. His grave was found in 1919 in Wervicq Road German Cemetery which suggested that he had died of wounds in their hands.He was then re-interred in Zantvoorde British Cemetery.

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Zantvoorde British Cemetery,August 2010

The history of Zantvoorde British Cemetery (outside cemetery itself),August 2010

On 30 October 1914, the village of Zantvoorde (now Zandvoorde) was held by the 1st and 2nd Life Guards, numbering between 300 and 400 men. It was bombarded for over an hour with heavy guns and then taken by the 39th German Division and three attached battalions. The whole front of the 3rd Cavalry Division was driven back to the Klein-Zillebeke ridge. The village could not be retaken and remained in German hands until 28 September 1918. The Household Brigade Memorial, unveiled by Lord Haig in May 1924, stands on the South side of the village at the place where part of the Brigade was annihilated in 1914. Zantvoorde British Cemetery was made after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields and nearby German cemeteries. Many were those of soldiers who died in the desperate fighting round Zantvoorde, Zillebeke and Gheluvelt in the latter part of October 1914. There are now 1,583 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 1,135 of the burials are unidentified. Special memorials commemorate 32 soldiers buried in two of the German cemeteries whose graves could not be found on concentration. The cemetery also contains one Second World War burial. The cemetery was designed by Charles Holden.

Zantvoorde British Cemetery,August 2010

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Pte T Doherty,Zantvoorde British Cemetery,August 2010

On the day that King George visited the 7th Division at Sailly to present honours and awards the Borders still had troops manning the line.

One of those was Pte T Doherty who was killed by shellfire; he is buried in Zantvoorde British Cemetery.

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