The Advance East Part Two – Dadizele Communal Cemetery

The last time we came to Dadizele (our visit to Dadizeele New British Cemetery) it was cold.  Very cold.  Beautiful, with the previous day’s snow still on the ground.  But very, very cold.  At the time I suggested that we should come back another time, when it was a bit warmer, to visit the adjacent Dadizele Communal Cemetery, and so we have.

This time its July.  And it’s raining.

Dadizele Communal Cemetery contains 27 British First World War burials, all casualties of the fighting in the vicinity during October 1918.

CWGC plaque at the cemetery entrance.

Panoramic view of Dadizele Communal Cemetery.

Although the majority of the British burials are situated along the southern boundary of the cemetery, a few, such as these two men of the Royal Irish Rifles, are to be found among the civilian graves.

RIFLEMAN W. ROBINSONROYAL IRISH RIFLES2912/10/1918I 1
RIFLEMAN E. RICKWOODROYAL IRISH RIFLES3713/10/1918I 1

Plot II contains most of the British burials here, two of which are the only Second World War graves in the cemetery; the headstone nearest the camera is simply inscribed ‘Two Soldiers of the 1939-1945 War’.  In the following photos we move down the line of First World War headstones, beginning with the second in line, one of two bearing two names:

RIFLEMAN W. WOODSROYAL IRISH RIFLESu/k15/10/1918II 1
PRIVATE M. KEENEROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERSu/k15/10/1918II 1

         

Above left:

LANCE CORPORAL S. FENTONROYAL IRISH RIFLESu/k13/10/1918II 1
PRIVATE A. E. GODSALLROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS1915/10/1918II 1
SERJEANT F. MASKREYNORTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENTu/k15/10/1918II 1

Above right:

RIFLEMAN H. W. BRADSHAWROYAL IRISH RIFLES2514/10/1918II 1
CORPORAL P. TYERROYAL IRISH RIFLES1914/10/1918II 1
RIFLEMAN A. F. ALMONDROYAL IRISH RIFLES1915/10/1918II 1

RIFLEMAN S. H. CHIDWICKROYAL IRISH RIFLES3014/10/1918II 1
A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR

PRIVATE J. W. ROBINSONROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS2615/10/1918II 1
PRIVATE J. HARRISROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS2015/10/1918II 1

         

Above left:

PRIVATE A. WHISKERROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS1915/10/1918II 2
CORPORAL W. McSORLEYROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS3015/10/1918II 2
LANCE CORPORAL E. SAUNDERSROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERSu/k15/10/1918II 2

Above right:

RIFLEMAN W. GEORGEROYAL IRISH RIFLESu/k15/10/1918II 2
SAPPER W. J. BULLERROYAL ENGINEERSu/k14/10/1918II 2
SECOND LIEUTENANT G. L. WILLIAMS MCROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS2815/10/1918II 2

PRIVATE W. BALLROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENTu/k19/10/1918
PRIVATE J. BAXTERMACHINE GUN CORPS (INFANTRY)3019/10/1918
PRIVATE C. A. HARTLEYNORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERSu/k19/10/1918

The final headstone in the row, nearest camera, is:

PRIVATE T. NOCTONNORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS2520/10/1918II 4

As we are now near the southern corner of the cemetery, we ought to take a peek around the boundary hedge beyond which lies Dadizeele New British Cemetery, this time sans snow.

Dadizeele New British Cemetery was created after the war, which naturally begs the question, “why are there 27 men in the communal cemetery when there are more than a thousand buried just the other side of the wall in the military cemetery?”  The answer may be that although the military cemetery contains men brought in from the surrounding area after the war only, the communal cemetery was already there and the 27 men who lie within its boundaries were buried there at the time they fell.  But I’m not at all sure about that, so if you are any the wiser, do let me know.

Looking north west towards the Cross of Sacrifice in the distance, with the German bunker we visited previously to the left.

Above & below: View from the top of the bunker.

Returning to Dadizele Communal Cemetery, there are three remaining British graves that we have yet to visit…

…two of which are near the western boundary of the cemetery.

CORPORAL T. HORROCKSROYAL IRISH RIFLES2705/10/1918III 1
PRIVATE J. JAMESROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERSu/k02/10/1918III 2

Behind these two graves, the hedge separates communal cemetery from military.

The final British burial.  Above & below:

PRIVATE F. J. CUNNINGHAMROYAL IRISH FUSILIERSu/k07/10/1918IV 1

Last view before we leave, looking north east across the roundabout immediately outside the communal cemetery towards the town itself.  The building on the left, the first building encountered on entering Dadizele from the west, supposedly (according to a local resident) survived the shelling that destroyed much of the town in October 1918 as the Germans retreated, and perhaps it did.  By the way, the signposts on the far side of the roundabout are indeed the same ones pictured at the start of our recent visit to Dadizeele New British Cemetery.

Click here for Part Three.

This entry was posted in 1918 - The Advance East. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Advance East Part Two – Dadizele Communal Cemetery

  1. Mark George says:

    Went to this Dadizele Communal in 20011 after doing research on a member of my family on my fathers side.This is where Rifleman W George (Walter) of Royal Irish Rifles was buried in October 1918 we think he was 20 years of age and he died of wounds.He is remembered on the memorial in Wavendon, Bucks.Good site with clear pictures lets not forget all these brave men.

  2. Magicfingers says:

    These photos were taken last year too. I suspect that your post answers the question I posed about why these men are buried here. If your relative died of wounds, presumably there was a Casualty Clearing Station here in late 1918, hence the men buried in the Communal Cemetery instead of the Military Cemetery next door, which is a post-war cemetery. Glad you like the site, btw.

  3. Mark George says:

    Went back again this year in July (2014) this time under our own steam and planning again for next year i feel its now something i have to do there is something special about these places and should be visited as much as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *