The Vlamertinge Burial Grounds Part Three – Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3

On leaving Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, on the right here, our next stop is quite literally across the road. 

This is the entrance to Brandhoek Military Cemetery No. 3,…

…and although this cemetery is primarily a Third Ypres burial ground, over three-quarters of the 950 men who lie here killed between 31st July 1917 and the end of the year,…

…of the others, 218 are 1918 casualties, of which 163 died in April & May 1918, so, as we are talking about 1918,…

…here’s a composite map showing the relationship between the latter days of fighting during the Battle of the Lys in the spring of 1918, and the cemeteries along the Poperinge – Ypres road.  In the top half, the map dated 1917 prior to Third Ypres, Poperinge and Ypres are marked in orange and purple respectively, and in between, the Brandhoek cemeteries are all sited within the dark blue circle, and the Vlamertinge cemeteries, which we shall visit in due course, in the light blue circle, with the German lines encircling Ypres marked in red on the far right.  In the lower map, which really is lined up with the top one correctly, even if it may not look so, and which is this time dated July 1918, the German lines are now marked in blue and the Britsh in red, and the extent of the German advance to the south and south west of Ypres during the Battle of the Lys is evident.  Although Mont Kemmel, marked in green, had been taken from the French on 25th April 1918, and a final assault on the Scherpenberg, four miles south of Brandhoek and marked in red, would take the hill for a few hours on 29th April, the map marks the furthest extent west the Germans’ advance would take them, their front line remaining as marked through the early summer of 1918.

The cemetery register, visitor’s book and ‘In Perpetuity’ tablet are recessed in the entrance archway,…

…and if the view ahead looks somewhat sparse,…

…not so when we turn to our right.  The cemetery is divided into only four plots (five to be pedantic), the first five rows here,…

…and, panning left,…

…this short sixth row of just five headstones, making up Plot III.

Stone of Remembrance.

Nearest the Stone, the five burials in the short Row F are all Royal Army Medical Corps men who were killed on 2nd October 1918, and are the final burials in the cemetery.  The cemetery plan (click the link to view) shows two more burials to the left of these, but there is no sign of them today.

This view looks south west down the length of the cemetery, the five headstones in the previous picture now just out of shot to the right, the first five headstones in Plot III Row E now on the right, and if we pan to our left,…

…this is Plot IV, and it all looks a bit curious.  The three headstones on the far left are Row E, and the four headstones on the right (close-up below) are Row D.  There is no Row C, and then the first two rows of the main body (!) of headstones are Plot IV Rows B & A.

The four men buried in Row D, three Leicestershire Regiment privates and a King’s Royal Rifle Corps corporal, are all May 1918 casualties,…

…as are the three men in Row E (one Norfolk Regiment & two Hampshire Regiment) all of whom died on 27th May 1918.  The centre headstone is of interest,…

…as not only was Lance Corporal James William Angel, aged 24, the recipient of a Military Medal, but the regimental inscription (unlike the other Hampshire man buried next to him), includes ‘and Hants Carabiniers Yeo.’…

…as detailed on this appendix to the Headstone Inscription form.  The Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers) had been part of IX Corps Cavalry Regiment, initially formed in June 1916 at Bailleul, but dismounted in August 1917, the men sent to Rouen for infantry training.  The following month twelve officers and 307 men were transferred to 15th (Service) Battalion, which then became 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment.  Which explains why James Angel, one of the transferred men, has both Hampshire Regiment & Hampshire Yeomanry on his headstone.

In front of Row E, the Chinese Plot (the fifth plot, if you like) comprises a single Chinese labourer.

Unfortunately, Yen Feng Shan’s date of death has been incorrectly inscribed on his headstone; it should say 28th September 1917, not 1919,…

…as is confirmed on both the GRRF, and the inset (from the Cemetery Index).

So why the strange plot layout, and the total absence of a Plot IV Row C?  The obvious answer would be to suggest that originally there were once French graves here, moved post-war, but I can only find evidence of four French graves that were once here but have since been removed.  Nor, come to that, can I find evidence for my preferred theory, but as all the graves in the plot are from April & May 1918 (with just one from June), I wonder whether there were once American graves here?

This view looks south, the first two rows on the left, as mentioned earlier, a continuation of Plot IV, the remainder, fourteen rows stretching to the far end of the cemetery, constituting Plot II.  The four headstones nearest us left of centre,…

…at the end of Plot IV Row B are the graves of an R.G.A. bombardier and three men of The Queen’s, two of the four with Military Medals to their names, and all killed on 29th May 1918.

Continuing along Plot IV Row B, the large gap in the row, and another gap before the final three headstones in Row A behind, surely both once containing more burials long since removed.

Leicester Regiment men at the start of Row B; all the burials in the row are May 1918 casualties, apart from the eighth headstone, just before the gap, which is the grave of one of the two men who died in June 1918.

Behind, in Row A, there are a number of men killed on 27th April 1918.  In fact, thirteen men who died on that date are buried in the cemetery, five here in Plot IV Row A, the others in Plot I Row O.

Whether any of these five 27th April 1918 casualties in Plot II Row A were killed in the Hagle Dump explosion of that date, we don’t know, but I think probably not.  We’ll take a look at Plot I Row O later.

In the meantime, another man killed on that day, Lieutenant Anthony Herbert Strutt, Notts & Derby Regiment, has a framed photograph of a church tablet dedicated to him at the base of his headstone,…

..and an interesting document attached to his files.  Strutt, who was 22, had already been wounded in December 1916, not returning to action until October 1917, and was killed six months later at Voormezeele, about four miles or so to the south east of Brandhoek, and an area we shall be visiting at some future point (which translates, as ever, as ‘when I get round to it’).

Looking back along Plot IV Row A, and turning to our right,…

…after the gap, the final three burials in the row, Middlesex men killed in mid-May 1918.

The remaining headstones pictured are all in Plot II, with Row O in the foreground, the only row in the plot in which the burials are not casualties of Third Ypres.  Apart from the two men pictured here on the left who died in late March 1918, and a man who died a couple of months earlier in January, all the burials in the row are April 1918 casualties,…

…including the only Canadian 1918 casualty in the cemetery, in the centre here.

Most of the 53 other Canadians, all killed between August & December 1917, are buried in Plot II Rows M or N, or the equivalent rows in Plot I (below),…

…which, being on the other side of the central grass pathway, as you can see, gives us an idea of how this cemetery expanded as the weeks and months of Passchendaele dragged on, men being buried on either side at the same, or roughly the same, time.

At which point this map (with exquisitely added colour by me), shows the position of the medical units serving 5th Army at the start of Third Ypres, the casualty clearing stations at Brandhoek marked in orange near the centre.  Note the Corps Main Dressing Station marked at Canada Farm, and another just to the north west of Brandhoek that, although not named, we know was sited in the farm buildings at Red Farm.

Back in Plot I, and two Canadian gunners killed on 8th November 1917 at the start of Row N – note more Canadians and a New Zealand grave in Row M behind,…

…and a South African gunner killed the following day further along the row, one of only five South African casualties in the cemetery, and the only one in Plot II.

Australian & New Zealand infantrymen in Row K, these men early October 1917 burials,…

…as are these R.F.A. men further along the row, the two styles of emblem found on R.F.A. headstones again evident here, in this instance because the headstone of Second Lieutenant B. R. G. Holmes, on the right, bears no religious symbol,…

…as confirmed on this Special Layouts form.

Still in Row K, and another artilleryman, this time a Battery Quartermaster Serjeant, Percy John Litchfeld, who was killed in action on 30th September 1917, aged 34.

Rows J to D contain 186 burials, nearly all of them men killed in mid-August 1917, such as these casualties in Row J (above & below).

Turning round to look north, the reverse of the headstones of Row J in the foreground (above & below),…

…before we continue through Plot II.  These oddly marked headstones are in Row H,…

…as is, at the end of the row, the grave of Lieutenant Edgar Duerden, Royal Field Artillery, who died of wounds on 17th August 1917, aged 25.

Queen’s private and King’s rifleman (above & below) in Row G.

Row F, all the burials still from mid-August 1917,…

…and continuing along Row F, the man buried in the centre here, and pictured, 27 year old Second Lieutenant Richard Douglas Miles.  Born in Jamaica, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and died of wounds on 17th August 1917 as a subaltern in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.  On the left, half-obscured by roses,…

…the grave of Lieutenant Colonel Stafford James Somerville, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, attached to and commanding 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, wounded on Gallipoli in May 1915, who died of wounds commanding a battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers on Hill 35 at Zonnebeke on 16th August 1917, aged 46.  His son, a captain in the King’s Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), had been killed at Hamel on the Somme in July 1916.

And here’s Hill 35, as it gets a couple of mentions in this post (and I wasn’t entirely sure exactly where it was), marked in green on a trench map extract from October 1917, with Tyne Cot, for those of you who know the area, marked in blue top right, and Dochy Farm, where we have visited the nearby cemetery more than once, in the centre in pink.

And here’s Hill 35 in an aerial shot from September 1917.  Honest.  Spot the four abandoned tanks.

As we continue along Row F, the grave on the far left here that of Captain Joseph Cecil Harris, 3rd (North Midland) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the “A” Casualty Clearing Station, who was killed in action on 16th August 1917,…

…it’s interesting to note a number of different types of stone used here,…

…and the way, presumably, the latest laser construction process has left clear edge marks on the face of these headstones, which I have helpfully coloured for you here (compare with the previous shot).  Not something I’ve noticed before, but maybe this will become more commonplace as headstones are replaced over time.

As with all the Brandhoek cemeteries, there are very few unidentified burials to be found here, and no documentation that I can find that gives specific numbers.  The unknown second lieutenant of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on the left may be the only unidentified burial in this cemetery.  I wonder whether anyone has attempted to discover his identity.

And at the end of Row F, this is the grave of nineteen year old Captain Thomas Graham Shillington, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who was shot in the neck on Hill 35 on 16th August 1917, and who later died of his wounds at No. 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, here at Brandhoek, on 18th August.

Three lance corporals and an Australian gunner with a Military Medal at the start of Row E,…

…all the burials in the row, barring one, men who died on 18th & 19th August 1917,…

…as are approximately half the burials in Row D,…

…the remainder being men who died on 16th August, such as this Royal Engineer serjeant with two Military Medals to his name.

Row D, this time from the other end.

Row C, and it is in this row that the dates on the headstones change,…

…because the earliest burials in the cemetery are to be found here.  The first burials were made on 31st July 1917, as the Third Battle of Ypres began, with the interment of five men, one on the left above,…

…another third from the left here,…

…the rest of the burials in the row all men killed in the following days, between 1st & 4th August.

Behind, in Row B, we once again return to dates from mid-August 1917,…

…most of the men in the row casualties from 16th & 17th August (above & below).  Beneath the headstone on the far right (and pictured) lies Major Fred Leslie Biddle D.S.O., Australian Field Artillery, who had served on Gallipoli and, from March 1916, on the Western Front.  He received the D.S.O. for distinguished gallantry over three days in July 1916 during the Battle of Pozières during which time he was wounded, returned to temporarily command 2nd Australian Field Artillery Brigade in September 1916, was Mentioned in Despatches for distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty in November 1916, and wounded a second time on 16th August 1917, dying of his injuries the following day at No. 32 Casualty Clearing Station.  He was 31.

16th August 1917 casualties in Row B, among them Rifleman James Eucibius Paulin, whose headstone says ’12th Bn. Lond. Regt. Rangers’, because there isn’t room for ’12th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (The Rangers)’.

Plot II Rows A (left) & B (right),…

…and looking across the first rows of Plot I to Plot II beyond.

The burials in Row A were made slightly later than those we have seen in the last few rows,…

…most of these men dying between 22nd & 27th August 1917.

Cross of Sacrifice.

Looking roughly east back up the cemetery from in front of the Cross of Sacrifice,…

…Plot II on our right,…

…Row C here on the left, and Row B on the right,…

…this grey mosaic, Row B nearest the camera, once again showing the different stones used for the headstones in this cemetery,…

…as does this shot of Row A.

On our left, Plot I, and once again, as in previous cemeteries,…

…it makes sense to head back to the far end of the cemetery to view these headstones with the inscriptions facing us, and if you remember, it is actually Plot III that greeted us when we first arrived,…

…the following photographs showing the six rows of Plot III, the four rows you see here,…

…and the first two rows in this shot.

Looking south east, Plot III Rows E and the short Row F that we visited earlier in the centre of the shot.

Apart from a single June 1918 casualty, all the burials in Plot III Rows A to E died between 25th April & 27th May 1918,…

…the later May 1918 burials to be found at the end of Row E.

R.G.A. bombardier in Row D,…

…and the view looking south west, Row D in the foreground, the burials nearest the camera…

…from mid-May 1918.

As are those immediately behind in Row C, where we find the graves of three decorated soldiers, on the left a Hampshire Regiment corporal with a Military Medal,…

…which is also the headstone on the left here.  On the right, Captain Stanley Walker is a good example of a career soldier who rose through the ranks.  Originally enlisting in 1910, he went to France on 23rd August 1914 and was wounded by a piece of German shell in April 1915. He was certainly a battery serjeant major in the Royal Field Artillery by October 1915 (the inset photograph shows him as a sergeant – my guess, bearing in mind the stick, is that it was taken during his recovery from his wound), gained a commission in March 1917, was appointed second-in-command of his battalion with the rank of acting Captain soon after, and on 20th May 1918 he was killed during an artillery exchange in the Zillebeke area, on what was reported as a generally quiet day, aged 27.  His M.C. was gazetted two weeks after his death.  The last headstone in the row…

…is the grave of another decorated R.F.A. man; all three died in mid-May 1918.

Second Lieutenant Leslie Gwynne Jones, Royal Garrison Artillery, buried here in Row B (pictured & right headstone), was commissioned in November 1916 and died rather tragically on 4th May 1918 at Vlamertinghe Chateau, aged just 21.  Early that afternoon, he was at an observation post in the top of the north western tower of the chateau when a fire caused by an upset tin of petrol and an open brazier broke out two stories below.  With German shells falling, Jones and another man attempted to escape by climbing down the side of the building using the wire lightning conductor, with inevitable, perhaps, results.  Both men fell from 75 feet as conductor and building parted company, and both were killed.

Late April R.A.M.C. 1918 casualties in Row A (above & below),…

…where we also find the grave of Jamaican-born Major Horace Townshend Clare, Royal Field Artillery, Mentioned in Despatches, Chevalier of the Order of the Crown of Italy, who was killed in action at Brandhoek, presumably the result of shellfire, on 29th April 1918, aged 21.

All the remaining burials on this side of the cemetery, fourteen rows in total, are designated as Plot I, the majority of the burials from August or September 1917.  However, the first row that we encounter is Row O, where all the burials are from April 1918, and another piece of the Hagle Dump jigsaw can be added, as two men buried in this row are indeed known to be casualties of the huge explosion that we have researched in great detail this year.

Both are 10th Bn., Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) men, the first, in the centre here, 29 year-old Company Quartermaster Serjeant John Burcombe Day,…

…and the other, on the left here, Serjeant G. Alderton.  Whether any of the five other men who died on 27th April 1918 and are buried in this row were also victims of the explosion is unknown.  At least by me.  But these two men certainly were.

Next, in Row N, the grave of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Craik Irving D.S.O., C.R.E.* 4th Canadian Division, killed on 29th October 1917 aged 38.  Major General D. Watson, C.O. Canadian 4th Division, had the following to say in a letter to Irving’s father; ‘Yesterday afternoon Col. Irving came in as usual to my headquarters, and we went over the program of work together, going into the different phases of the work already done, and mapping out the most urgent requirements for further consideration and action. He had tea with us between 5 and 5.30 p.m., and afterwards went across the road to his dugout. A short time afterwards a German aeroplane came over and scattered the usual nightly supply of bombs all over the area. One of these struck immediately at the door of his dugout, and as he was unfortunately sitting at the only place in the dugout opposite the door, he was hit by a piece of the shell in the chest and died almost instantly. He was buried this afternoon at a little military cemetery some distance to our rear, and his grave will be properly looked after and carefully marked.’  And we shall encounter Irving again, at the end of this post.

*Commanding Royal Engineers.

More Canadian casualties, this time in Row M.  The centre headstone is that of Captain & Quartermaster Oliver Travers M.C., Canadian Infantry (pictured), who was killed in action on 29th October 1917 aged 40.  On the right lies Lieutenant K. W. McLea, another officer killed by German aerial bombing.  On the morning of 28th October 1917 he was in charge of loading ammunition aboard a train of two hundred mules when the dump and its environs were hit by bombs from a group of Gotha bombers.  McLea was hit and taken to a dressing station and then No. 8 Canadian Field Ambulance here at Brandhoek where, the lower half of his body shattered, he died of his injuries soon afterwards.

Two C.F.A. drivers, also in Row M, both of whom died in early November 1917.

Australian casualties in Row L (above & below),…

…and still in Row L, the grave of Corporal F. Caspar, Australian Field Artillery, who died on 14th October 1917.  I have no idea the meaning of the little badge, but somebody somewhere does.

Southerly view, with mainly Australian & New Zealand burials in Row L in the foreground, and also in Row K behind,…

…where we also find these two R.F.A. gunners, killed on 4th October 1917 in Row K, and on the right, and pictured, the grave of Captain John Christopher Watson, Gordon Highlanders, killed in action leading his men at Zillebeke on 26th September 1917, aged 20.

Further along the row, the grave of a staff officer in the Royal Army Ordnance Department killed on 6th October 1917,…

…and more October casualties at the far end of the row.

Row H, the burials all from the last ten days of September 1917, those in Row G behind,…

…including this East Lancashire Regiment lieutenant,…

…and those in Row F (centre), all from earlier in the month.

We encountered a single South African casualty buried in Plot II, and the remaining South Africans buried in this cemetery are all buried here in Plot I Row F, although not all next to each other (above & below).

Still in Row F, and the grave of Second Lieutenant Arthur Marston Adams M.C., The King’s Liverpool Regiment, who died of wounds on 20th September 1917, aged 23.  His Military Cross had been awarded earlier in the year for his gallantry in leading raiding parties and reconnaissance patrols ‘frequently under hazardous conditions’ – you don’t say!

Eight men in Row D (above & below) who died on 21st August 1917.  Nearly all the burials in Rows A, B & D, 121 in all, are mid-August 1917 casualties, with most of those in Row C from later in the month.

As we look at a few selected headstones in the final few rows of this cemetery, and as so far I have no more than touched on, way back at the start of Part One, the history of Brandhoek during the war years, there follows a (very) potted overview of Brandhoek as a medical facility.  As early as February 1915, you may remember, Brandhoek, really nothing more than a hamlet on the Ypres-Poperinge road, had been selected as a site for washing and bathing facilities for British troops, and the fact that the first British burials in Brandhoek Military Cemetery were made on 8th May 1915, and that within a week another twenty men had been buried there, suggests that there must have already been a Field Ambulance dressing station operating nearby by that time.

Certainly, between the spring of 1915 and June 1917 numerous Field Ambulances, both British & Australian, used facilities at Brandhoek prior to casualties being evacuated to the casualty clearing stations in the Poperinge area (incidentally, the Long, Long Trail website contains a superbly detailed article on the Brandhoek medical facilities).

However it was during the preparations for Third Ypres that the first casualty clearing stations arrived at Brandhoek, 32 C.C.S. arriving from the Arras area in early July, followed by 44 C.C.S. from the Somme a fortnight later, and finally 3rd Australian C.C.S., also from the Somme, a few days later.

And with the opening of the battle came a huge increase in the numbers of wounded men being treated at the casualty clearing stations at Brandhoek, as well as an increase in German shelling and aerial attack; indeed, 32 C.C.S. was shelled on its very first night after arrival.

Not only had casualty clearing stations arrived at Brandhoek, but so had nurses (the sisters above pictured at No. 3 Australian C.C.S. here at Brandhoek), who naturally had to face the same dangers as their male colleagues.  And the dangers increased as German artillery sought British dumps and stores behind the lines.

44 C.C.S. & 3rd Australian C.C.S. would remain at Brandhoek for only a month; on 21st August German shells, probably intended for the railway which ran close to the C.C.S., killed two soldiers and a nurse (Nellie Spindler, pictured above, and now buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, south west of Poperinge) and injured several more, and the decision was made to move both facilities further west.  32 C.C.S. would remain at Brandhoek (returning after its own brief evacuation due to the shelling in August just mentioned) until mid-October 1917 at which time it left for a new site at Mendinghem, four miles or so north west of Poperinge.

The inset photos show two views of the medical encampment here at Brandhoek, that on the left being the nurses’ tents; the trees in the background must be those that line the Poperinge-Ypres road that we have tramped up and down in recent posts.

Field Ambulances would once again be the mainstay of the Brandhoek medical facilities with the evacuation of the clearing stations, but the German advance during the Battle of the Lys in April 1918 brought the front lines closer to Brandhoek than at any time during the war, once again shelling and aerial attacks increased,…

…and this diagram from the 6th Division war diary, dated April 1918, once again shows an advanced dressing station at Brandhoek at that time.

We know what happened at Hagle Dump on 27th April 1918, the explosion there wrecking the advanced dressing station at Red Farm, which was subsequently re-established at Brandhoek, and the area remained within range of German artillery throughout the summer of 1918 with occasional casualties among the wounded men being attended there, and among the men doing the attending.  After which, for the final few months of the war, Brandhoek would no longer serve any real military purpose at all, as the front lines moved further and further to the east.

Which brings us to the north east corner of the cemetery, and at the end of Row A, a most appropriate inscription on the grave of Captain Alber Barr Montgomery, Worcestershire Regiment.

‘There is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England’.  Montgomery was an Australian who was studying in London when war broke out.  Joining the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps in July 1915, he received his commission in September that year with the 1/7th Worcestershire Regiment, arriving in France in March 1916.  He had recently been promoted to captain (probably acting captain) when, on 17th August 1917, he was severely wounded by shrapnel when leading his company against the German blockhouses at Alberta Farm near St. Julien, dying soon afterwards here at Vlamertinge, aged 25.

At which point, as we make our way back through Plot I towards the cemetery entrance in the background, we reach the end of our tours of the three Brandhoek cemeteries.

Or very nearly the end.  You will remember, however, that earlier we visited the grave of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Craik Irving D.S.O., C.R.E. 4th Canadian Division, who was killed on 29th October 1917 – here the headlines of the Toronto Star of 20th November 1917 tell the tale – and I mentioned at the time that we would encounter him again.

Two and a half years earlier, in April 1915, Irving had reported on the state of the Ypres trenches (in reality, at the time, nothing but a series of isolated sections of trench) as the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade took over a mile and a half sector from the French in the days preceding the first German gas attacks of Second Ypres.  His words describe quite graphically the conditions facing the front line troops.

Noting that ‘things were in a deplorable state from the standpoint of defence, safety and sanitation, and [that] large quantities of disinfectant should be sent into the trenches immediately for liberal use’, he continued, ‘The right flank and the next portion to the left had a parapet of mud heaped up in front approximately 2 feet thick at the bottom and from 4 inches to 1 foot at the top with an occasional loophole punched through the earth. There is no parados for this part of trench. The water level is about two feet down below the surface of the ground with numerous shell holes and also a section of the trench behind partially filled with water. There was a plugged drain passing between these two sections in a North Easterly direction through the German lines. In front of these sections are numerous bodies buried at a very shallow depth making it impossible for us at many places to excavate at all. There is also human excreta littered all over the place.’

‘Going to the left we next strike 650 feet of firing line completely enfiladed by the enemy’s artillery, which had no traverses in it. The parapet ranged from 2 feet to 4 feet in height and from 6 inches at the top to three feet at the bottom in thickness. The ground where the men stand in the firing position is paved with rotting bodies and human excreta. The ground behind is full of excreta and dead bodies. This ground is about an average of 1 1/2 feet above the water table, so we are first putting in traverses to protect the men from direct enfilading fire, next a parados to protect them from the side kick of the enfilading fire, then the deepening of the trench to the water table and the thickening of the parapet. This is all being carried on as rapidly as we can get material.’

I have used the word before, and I use it again here: unimaginable.

The Strutt gates mentioned earlier, I presume.  Next, we return to the main road for a brief stop before we head east towards Vlamertinge.  We are far from done with the Allied medical services yet.

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11 Responses to The Vlamertinge Burial Grounds Part Three – Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3

  1. Andy Mowatt says:

    Extremely interesting! Lest we forget.

  2. sendergreen says:

    I am still unable to leave some questions ungoogled. So in doing so with Cpl. J.W. Angel, MM, I came upon another J.W. Angel, MM.

    Yours, is James William Angel. The second is James Walter Angel who won his Military Medal with some daring driving and “Bren-ning” from his recce car a month before the Second War’s end.

  3. Daisy in Indonesia says:

    Hey Magicfingers,

    I’m having trouble reconciling 19 year old Lieutenants and 19/20 year old Captains. Just boys…

    Lt. Col.Stafford James Somerville, wounded at Gallipoli, killed at Hill 35. If you check your map showing Hill 35, marked by a yellow circle, there is a place (a building?) named Gallipoli and nearby Gallipoli Copse. Would the Lt. Col. have any say in these names?

    The badge on the headstone of Fred Caspar is the insignia of the Victorian Police (Australia) for he was a Police Constable. Victoria Police motto; Tenez le Droit… Uphold the Right.

    Great series of posts concerning Brandhoek.

    Love your work.

    Daisy.

    • Nick Kilner says:

      Hi Daisy, you beat me to it! Well spotted.
      Regarding the naming of the building and copse, I’d say that there’s a very good chance the Aussie troops named them as such.
      Hope this finds you well.
      Nick

    • Magicfingers says:

      Thank you Daisy. I hope I have done the Brandhoek cemeteries some sort of justice. Afa teenage subalterns, well, I’m with you, mate. Machine gun fodder, many, but they were also the kids who won the war, in the end – because the soldiers followed them. I really believe that. And yes, I had noticed the Gallipoli struture (?) but got no further looking into it. Thanks for the badge info. What did I say in the post, eh? Someone knows. And someone did.

  4. Nick Kilner says:

    Another great post and a fascinating cemetery! Those gaps rather put me in mind of the C du B. I think you may well be correct about them being American graves, but given the high number of German graves in the previous cemetery and the complete absence of any in this one, I do wonder if they decided to bundle them all in together. I looked (as I’m sure you did) at the GRRF of other in the row to see if there were any clues there, but sadly not. Whoever was there, they’d clearly gone by 1920 and probably much earlier than that I suspect as there’s not even a crossing out of names on the GRRF.
    Regarding the slightly curious badge on the headstone of Corporel F Caspar, I have it on good authority (if you’ll pardon the pun) from a friend ‘down under’ that it is the badge of the Victoria Police Force, so presumably he was a copper before the war.
    Would you like me to do the honours with Yen Feng Shan and the CWGC? They always enjoy hearing from me 😉
    Oh, and I only found one tank, despite nearly going blind looking, thanks for that! Lol

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