Méteren Military Cemetery

Location

Méteren is a village 17.5 kilometres south-west of Ieper (Belgium) and 3 kilometres west of Bailleul on the main road to Cassel. When heading through the village towards Bailleul from Cassel, turn left along D.18 opposite the Mairie. The cemetery is 200 metres further up this road on the left hand side and is situated to the rear of the civil cemetery.

Historical Information

Méteren was occupied by German forces early in October 1914 and on 13 October, their entrenched positions covering the village were captured by the 10th Brigade of the 4th Division.

The village then remained in Allied hands until the German offensive of April 1918. The 33rd Division held it against heavy German attacks on 13 April, but it was lost on the 16th.

The sector was then taken over by French troops for a time, but on 19 July, the 9th (Scottish) Division (2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers and South African Composite Battalion) recovered the site of the village after a fortnight's bombardment which completely destroyed the houses.

The cemetery was made in 1919 by the French authorities, who brought in Commonwealth, French and German graves from the neighbouring battlefields and from other cemeteries, and a further ten Commonwealth graves were brought from Méteren Churchyard in 1923. The German and some of the French graves have since been removed to other cemeteries.

Méteren Military Cemetery now contains 768 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 180 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to five casualties believed to be buried among them.

There are also special memorials to one soldier buried in Méteren Churchyard, and one Indian soldier buried in Mont-des-Cats Indian Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed in later fighting.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

 

Angels and Heroes

On 24 April 2005 as part of a tour organised by the Royal Irish Fusilier's Museum in Armagh we visited Méteren Cemetery and the grave of Arthur Samuels.

The  taking of Méteren in 1914 The taking of Méteren in 1914 Méteren Military Cemetery Lt Arthur Samuels

Second Lieutenant Arthur Samuels
1st Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers
Died on 13 October 1914 aged 25

Son of the late Lt Colonel William Samuels, AMS and Althea Samuels, of Kingstown, Co. Dublin

Grave: I A 44