Our final stop along this short stretch of the river is the communal cemetery in the town of Menen (yes, this was once called Menin, and yes, if you head north west from here some eleven miles you will find yourself at the Menin Gate in Ypres).
Cemetery entrance with the CWGC sign to the right.
On the wall inside the entrance, evidence of the German occupation during World War II.
There are fifteen British burials in the cemetery, although at one time there were considerably more. Most were moved to Harlebeke New British Cemetery after the war, but two plots remain, I can only presume because of their position near the centre of the cemetery. Plot III comprises the twelve graves pictured here.
Most of these men died in 1916 & 1917 whilst prisoners of the Germans, with the exception of the headstone three from the left (the only World War II burial here and yet another casualty of the fighting in May 1940), and the two RFC men towards the far end of the row (see below).
Left to right:
|PRIVATE W. BULLAS||NOTTS & DERBY REGIMENT||23||16/02/1916||III A 1|
|SAPPER T. A. WALKER||CANADIAN ENGINEERS||u/k||04/06/1916||III A 2|
|FUSILIER J. J. BRYSON||THE ROYAL NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS||21||27/05/1940||III A 2A|
|PRIVATE J. W. CHISHOLM||PRINCESS PATRICIA'S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY||19||06/06/1916||III A 3|
Left to right:
|PRIVATE R. DUNDAS||4th CANADIAN MOUNTED RIFLES||21||08/06/1916||III A 4|
|PRIVATE W. G. GRAMSON||4th CANADIAN MOUNTED RIFLES||23||10/06/1916||III A 5|
|A CANADIAN SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR||23/08/1916|
|CORPORAL R. D. FLEMING||ROYAL FLYING CORPS||22||26/01/1917||III A 7|
Left to right:
|FLIGHT SERJEANT W. G. WEBB||ROYAL FLYING CORPS||u/k||26/01/1917||III A 8|
|2nd LIEUTENANT P. M. NEILL*||ROYAL FLYING CORPS||19||03/06/1917||III A 9/10|
|CAPTAIN F. W. HARLEY*||ROYAL FLYING CORPS||28||03/06/1917||III A 9/10|
|LIEUTENANT A. J. C. E. PHILLIPPO||ARMY SERVICE CORPS attd ROYAL FLYING CORPS||22||07/06/1917||III A 11|
* both of these headstones are inscribed ‘Believed to be’. Pilot and observer I suspect, and the unusual grave reference for both of them frankly doesn’t bear thinking about.
Above & below: The two identified British burials in Plot IV are both men who died late in 1918, after Menen was back in British hands.
|A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR|
|SAPPER W. GIBSON||ROYAL ENGINEERS||u/k||22/10/1918||IV A 2|
|GUNNER H. MARSHALL||ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY||29||29/12/1918||IV A 3|
At the far end of the cemetery this memorial mourns Belgium’s Second World War dead.
Following photographs: The graves of Second World War Belgian military casualties.
Civilian victims of the Nazis (above & below).
Menin Communal Cemetery.
On our way back to the entrance we once again pass the British graves of Plot III.
Final view from just inside the cemetery entrance. Our journey along the river ends here.