Ypres Town Cemetery Extension was begun in October 1914 and initially used until April 1915. More burials were added in 1918 and after the Armistice 367 graves were brought in from smaller cemeteries and from the battlefields to the north and east of the city. There are now 598 First World War burials or commemorations in the Extension, of which 137 are unidentified. There are also special memorials to 16 servicemen known or believed to be buried here, visible along the wall in the background of the above photograph.
In May 1940, heavy fighting took place in the Ypres area as the British retreated towards the channel ports. 43 men, 13 of them unidentified, made it no further than here and are buried in the Extension.
View from the southern cemetery entrance looking north. The Extension is a rectangular shaped area bounded by Ypres Town Cemetery on three sides and the road at the far end and unusually there are two entrances. The one we are using allows direct access from the surrounding Town Cemetery, and if you look at the far end of the hedge you can see the northern or main entrance, where you can gain access from the street.
The cemetery is divided into three plots. Along the western boundary immediately on entering, this row of headstones is Plot II Row A…
…and these (above & below) are Rows C & B, with Row A in the background.
Another view of Plot II, this time with Row E in the foreground and the rows we have just visited beyond. The Ypres Town Cemetery Extension Plan, as ever courtesy of the CWGC, will doubtless come in handy.
Where’s Baldrick? Looking across Plot II from the eastern boundary of the cemetery. Rows G & F are nearest the camera and Row A is in the background.
Above & below: Many, perhaps all, of these graves in Plot II Rows G & F are post-war burials.
Above & below: Along the eastern wall, facing Plot II Row G, are 13 headstones, commemorating 16 men who are ‘known’ or ‘believed to be buried in this cemetery’.
Plot I, Row G nearest the camera, with Plot III in the background.
Above & below: Plot III at the northern end of the cemetery. I assume, from the regimented rows of headstones in this plot, that these are all post-war burials.
View looking south from Plot III showing Plot I Rows D (front) & C (next three rows). In the background, Plot II and the Cross of Sacrifice.
Above & following photos: The same rows pictured in the previous photograph, with Plot I Row D in the foreground and Row C behind.
The headstones along the hedge in the background in all these photographs are those of a number of CWGC employees who are buried here; we shall see more of them later.
Looking north, with the headstones of Plot II in the foreground. Summer appears to have arrived.
Stone of Remembrance.
The same headstones in Plot I Row G that we saw previously, with Plot III again in the background.
Two of the Second World War burials, one unidentified, both killed during the British retreat in May 1940.
Czech Sergeant Karel Pavlik of the R.A.F., killed in 1942.
Above & following three photos: As we saw earlier, a number of CWGC (IGWC* as was) staff are buried along the western boundary opposite Plot I. You will notice that close-up, none of these headstones are standard CWGC military headstones.
*Imperial War Graves Commission.
Above & below: Back where we started, many of the graves in Plot II Row A are double burials, with two names and regimental badges inscribed on each headstone.
This final view looks south across Plot II. Rows G & F are to the left, and you can just see some of the special memorial headstones we visited earlier lining the wall to the far left.