The Elverdinge Burial Grounds Part Two – Hospital Farm Cemetery

Well, it’s obviously that way, isn’t it? 

It’s a bit of a trek, so as we walk, here’s a close-up of the trench map we saw last Elverdinge post,…

…with Hagle Dump Cemetery, bottom left, in mauve, and Hospital Farm itself near the centre, the cemetery marked in pink.

But the walk’s worth it, the little cemetery doubtless doubly picturesque during the summer months.

We are approximately four miles due west of the long-time front lines around Boesinghe, and the cemetery contains just 116 casualties, buried in five rows,…

…wounded men who died at a dressing station set up in the nearby farm buildings.  All the men buried here died between early June & Boxing Day 1915, or from mid-July to mid-December 1917 – Passchendaele – with the exception of half a dozen 1916 burials, and one man who died in May 1918.  The cemetery plan can be consulted here.

Only four of the burials are unidentified, three of whom lie here at the start of Row C.

Row D, with the modern farm buildings in the background.  The grave nearest the camera, the penultimate burial made here, is that of Captain James Cook Gray M.C. (pictured), Border Regiment,…

…who was killed, aged 26, on 22nd December 1917.  His Military Cross had been awarded in September 1917 for ‘conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at a time when all communication with the front line had been severed by intense hostile barrage. He repeatedly made his way through the barrage to advanced Company Headquarters and brought back information to his Battalion Commander who was thereby enabled to make suitable dispositions to repel the enemy of whose advance he would otherwise be totally unaware. The officer’s fearlessness and devotion to duty were above all praise’.

All the burials in Row E, the longest row in the cemetery, barring the single 1918 burial here, are casualties of the Battle of Passchendaele, men who died in October 1917 at this, the south eastern, end,…

…from August 1917 in the centre, and from September 1917 at this end,…

…from where we pan left,…

…now looking north east at the Cross of Sacrifice.

View past the Cross looking north west, the wood on the horizon the same one in which Baldrick & I explored, albeit unsuccessfully, last post.

And now looking south east from behind the Cross, Vlamertinge church on the horizon, Row A on the far left, and although the final headstones in Row A are out of shot,…

…they do include one of the 1916 burials, far left, and the fourth unknown soldier, in the centre.

Looking west, Row A nearest the camera, the three headstones in the previous shot on the right at the end of the row,…

…and now looking south from the same spot.

There’s a curious headstone in the second row, Row B, in the centre here,…

…that of a Belgian civilian,…

…his nationality corrected at some point on this GRRF extract.

At the time of our visit a number of graves, such as this one in Row D, another of the six 1916 casualties, and that below in Row B, had these Ulster Covenant Historical Society mementoes left at the base of the headstones.

And not just in this cemetery, either, as you will spot in a number of forthcoming posts.

Three men of the London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles) in Row C, the man on the left dying on 19th September 1915, his two colleagues the day before.

The earliest burials in the cemetery are to be found in Row A, this R.F.C. mechanic, who died on 16th June 1915, among them,…

…as are these two lieutenants, Guy Frederick Stringer, Royal Garrison Artillery (left), and G. H. Pollock, South Staffordshire Regiment in Row A, who died a day apart on 17th & 18th June 1915.

Two R.G.A. captains in Row B, P. W. C. M. Rodgers & A. D. MacNeill, both killed on 29th July 1917.

Agh!  Three hands!  And the pen’s just run out……

Clouds build above the Kemmelberg, some six miles or so to the south of us, as the light begins to fade.  And if you spotted a light green mark on the trench map extract back at the start of the post, well, that’s Ferme-Olivier Cemetery, and it is there that we are heading next.

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12 Responses to The Elverdinge Burial Grounds Part Two – Hospital Farm Cemetery

  1. Nick Kilner says:

    A very pleasant little cemetery, though it would be nice to see the headstones cleaned. I’m sure the CWGC will get to them at some point.
    Is that a stream that runs in front?

    • Magicfingers says:

      It’s a nice little place but it probably looks prettier in the summer. I wonder if the headstones were cleaned prior to 2014, and this is just six or seven years of weather on them, the photos taken earlier this year? The water is not a stream, though. The original farm was a distance beyond the Cross, and was moated, and there is still part of the moat there; there are two ponds that follow the line of the moat, and the one at the cemetery entrance is the second of these. Neither appear on trench maps, for what it’s worth, although the moat does.

      • Nick Kilner says:

        Ahh, interesting. Thank you for that.
        I’m still not getting notifications btw, no idea why. Hopefully its just me. I wonder if there is a way to leave and then rejoin? Can’t think what else to try. These new fangled computer thingies never were my forte lol

        • Magicfingers says:

          The problem I’ve got is that I have never been a member of this site, so I actually haven’t got a clue what you receive, or what you should receive. Does that make sense? I am totally in the dark. PM me again with exactly what you did receive, and what is now different – send scans I guess. I will continue to see if we can find out what’s causing the problem.

  2. Margaret Draycott says:

    As always M a thorough and informative post, always so poignant these small cemeteries you feel that there’s been a personal touch to them. Whereas the likes of Tyne Cot seem less personal

  3. Margaret Draycott says:

    I don’t get notifications either, I get an e mail to show new posting but not any follow up comments although I tick the box.
    You are so funny …….of course your not a member of the site, is that actually possible?

    • Magicfingers says:

      Heh heh! Nick has the solution to your comments problem – I shall await him to explain to you – I am feeling very lazy and post-tooth extraction (yesterday) today.

  4. Daisy says:

    Yes, another smaller personal cemetery. Easy to find the time to look for Australians without your brain being scrambled by too many headstones…
    Love your work Magicfingers.
    In Bali…

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