Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Beselare

Vlamertinge New Military Cemetery

11 posts in this topic

On a recent visit to Vlamertinge New Military Cemetery (my last visit was 35 years ago!), I was struck by the number of artillery graves. I didn't count them, but it seemed as if it must have been about 80%. Does anyone know the reason for such an artillery concentration?

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From CWGC:

For much of the First World War, Vlamertinghe (now Vlamertinge) was just outside the normal range of German shell fire and the village was used both by artillery units and field ambulances. Burials were made in the original Military Cemetery until June 1917, when the New Military Cemetery was begun in anticipation of the Allied offensive launched on this part of the front in July. Although the cemetery continued in use until October 1918, most of the burials are from July to December 1917.

So there seemed to be a concentration of artillery there and any wounded men would have gone straight to the several FAs first rather than being spread around a wider area with a wider range of FAs to go to?

Glen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cemetery was within walking distance of a large number of artillery batteries and brigade HQs. I've researched several men of the RFA who lie there, and all were killed within a mile of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Spof and Chris

Thank you for your responses. I noticed several pieces of shrapnel lying around the headstones, so the cemetery area was obviously shelled at some point.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an interesting query, and I thought I would post it here before contacting the CWGC. Captain John Walton Whitehead, RFA is now commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial. The additional documents now available on the CWGC website show that he was buried at this cemetery as he is listed as buried there, but with a note that the headstone is not included in the order.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith,

I think it is similar to another case, again RFA, that I came across a while ago at New Irish Farm Cemetery.

If you look at the headstone document, it says that his marker was between graves. II.E.1 and II.E.2. It appears that the IWGC did not accept that this was a grave, but a memorial cross, presumably that was either placed there, purely as a memorial, i.e. no grave, or had been displaced from a grave elsewhere.

Take a look at the Grave Registration Report document that has J J Pogson on it. He is in II.E.1. The note referring to Whitehead is at the bottom of the Plot II, Row E section.

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Phil, I'm sure you are right, but it does beg some questions about this officer's death and burial. I will be at Kew sometime soon and will see if I can learn any more.

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith,

Possibly his service record in WO 374/73840.

Interestingly, the only casualties I can find for 246th Brigade on the 1/12/17, are three officers. The other two are Bertie Barron HEWAT and John LETHEM. They are also on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a copy of his file. This is the only relevant section.

post-21979-0-27033500-1408911208_thumb.j

I'm not sure of the abbreviations, but they don't seem to add much.

From the rest he was attached to B battery of the 246th.

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O. A. M. S.

On Active Military Service?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Undoubtedly. Thanks Phil. I'll get the war diary when I go up to Kew in a week or two

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0