The Advance East Part Four – Kezelberg Military Cemetery

About a mile south of Ledegem another small cemetery provides a last resting place for some of the final casualties of a long war.

Unlike those we visited at Ledeghem Military Cemetery, the 147 casualties buried in Kezelberg Military Cemetery died towards the very end of October or during the final few days of the war in November 1918, by which time the front lines had moved many miles to the east.  These men would all have been wounded on the battlefield or hit by shellfire and evacuated to the Casualty Clearing Station that once stood near here, where they sadly died.  Seven men who are buried here died on 11th November, three the following day.

Cemetery entrance.

Now it occurs to me that if I start annotating all the photos of headstones in this little cemetery as I usually do, I’ll end up with pages and pages of tables interspersed with the occasional photograph, so no headstone annotations on this occasion.  Besides, you can, as always, check the names with the CWGC Casualty Details list if you want to.  The Cemetery Plan can be viewed here:

Kezelberg Military Cemetery Plan

The cemetery is divided into two plots, Plot I, above and below, consisting of four rows (Row A nearest camera).

         

The final burials are in Plot II, Row B; these are the men who died on 11th & 12th November (see also photo below).  Plot I in the background.

Plot II Row A (foreground) and B behind (note the German headstones to the left).

There are fourteen German burials in the cemetery, the headstones each inscribed with two names.

Plot II Row A, with the German graves behind.

To the right of the German burials you probably noticed a single CWGC headstone…

…one of about 2000 men of the Chinese Labour Corps who were killed or died on the battlefields of France and Belgium.

Cross of Sacrifice.

So goodbye to Kezelberg Military Cemetery.  I wonder whether you’ll ever find yourself with a housing estate wrapped around you.

Addendum: The grave of Private Fred Camps of the East Yorkshire Regiment (see comment below).

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9 Responses to The Advance East Part Four – Kezelberg Military Cemetery

  1. Tony and Phil says:

    Many thanks for your invaluable although inadvertant help. We were looking for the resting place of a relative who died in WW1. In one of your photos we discovered his grave. Private Fred Camps of 11th East Yorkshire Regiment in plot 11, Row A no. 13 We can now visit to pay our respects.

  2. Magicfingers says:

    I can live with invaluable although inadvertant! I have added a close-up of his headstone to the end of the post; by all means take a copy.

  3. Filip Jacques says:

    To me, this was just one of the cemeteries I so often passed by (there are several of them scattered around the place). Reading your comment on the place, I will certainly stop and have a good look around. The silence on these places can be so deafening… provided one tries to listen.
    Filip Jacques, Historical Society Ledegem

  4. Magicfingers says:

    Well said Filip. And I’m glad that my comments have piqued your interest. Hope all is well in Ledegem.

    • Filip says:

      We are seriously considering doing ‘something’ with these cemeteries, e.g. trying to tell the individual story of as many soldiers as possible. But as we have so much on our plate …
      Filip Jacques, Historical Society Ledegem

      • Magicfingers says:

        Filip, we have been doing something similar with regard to all the war memorials (there are more than 30 with about 800 men on them in total) in the area where I work. We have been doing this for about three years so far and have traced more than 750 of them. Very time consuming, that’s for sure, but very rewarding. As most of the men in the cemeteries in your area are casualties of the last few months of the war I suppose that you could aim to get your research completed by 2018 which does give you six years to work on it. Good luck!!

  5. tony and phil says:

    We have now discovered a lot about Fred Camps. We now have his military records (which survived the fire which destroyed a lot of ww1 records), some more info about his personal life if you are interested

  6. Magicfingers says:

    If you would like to share any of the information you have discovered about Fred Camps then I am sure that I would not be the only one who would be interested. And thanks for remembering this site, too.

    I have a theory about the ‘burnt papers’. Imagine that Luftwaffe bombs hadn’t been responsible for the destruction of some 70% of the papers. During the fifties and sixties, when interest in the First World War was far less than today, do you reckon that all the papers, millions of records, would have been kept, or is it more likely, as happened in other non-military areas, that a representative sample, say 10%, would have been kept and the rest destroyed? After the war, with only some of the papers surviving, I doubt if there was ever any suggestion that they should be ‘weeded’. Thanks to Hitler, perhaps, 30% of them survive.

    That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

    • tony and phil says:

      Hi, we would be pleased to share the info we have with you although at the present we are on holiday. When we are back home we’ll send a photo and other info

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