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. ROBINSON||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||29||12/10/1918||I 1|
|RIFLEMAN E. RICKWOOD||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||37||13/10/1918||I 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. WOODS||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||u/k||15/10/1918||II 1|
|PRIVATE M. KEENE||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||u/k||15/10/1918||II 1|
|LANCE CORPORAL S. FENTON||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||u/k||13/10/1918||II 1|
|PRIVATE A. E. GODSALL||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||19||15/10/1918||II 1|
|SERJEANT F. MASKREY||NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT||u/k||15/10/1918||II 1|
|RIFLEMAN H. W. BRADSHAW||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||25||14/10/1918||II 1|
|CORPORAL P. TYER||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||19||14/10/1918||II 1|
|RIFLEMAN A. F. ALMOND||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||19||15/10/1918||II 1|
|RIFLEMAN S. H. CHIDWICK||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||30||14/10/1918||II 1|
|A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR|
|PRIVATE J. W. ROBINSON||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||26||15/10/1918||II 1|
|PRIVATE J. HARRIS||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||20||15/10/1918||II 1|
|PRIVATE A. WHISKER||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||19||15/10/1918||II 2|
|CORPORAL W. McSORLEY||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||30||15/10/1918||II 2|
|LANCE CORPORAL E. SAUNDERS||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||u/k||15/10/1918||II 2|
|RIFLEMAN W. GEORGE||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||u/k||15/10/1918||II 2|
|SAPPER W. J. BULLER||ROYAL ENGINEERS||u/k||14/10/1918||II 2|
|SECOND LIEUTENANT G. L. WILLIAMS MC||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||28||15/10/1918||II 2|
|PRIVATE W. BALL||ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT||u/k||19/10/1918|
|PRIVATE J. BAXTER||MACHINE GUN CORPS (INFANTRY)||30||19/10/1918|
|PRIVATE C. A. HARTLEY||NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS||u/k||19/10/1918|
The final headstone in the row, nearest camera, is:
|PRIVATE T. NOCTON||NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS||25||20/10/1918||II 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. HORROCKS||ROYAL IRISH RIFLES||27||05/10/1918||III 1|
|PRIVATE J. JAMES||ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS||u/k||02/10/1918||III 2|
Behind these two graves, the hedge separates communal cemetery from military.
The final British burial. Above & below:
|PRIVATE F. J. CUNNINGHAM||ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS||u/k||07/10/1918||IV 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.