Poelcapelle British Cemetery is located 10 kilometres north east of Ieper
town centre on the Brugseweg (N313), a road connecting Ieper to Brugge. Two
streets connect Ieper town centre onto the Brugseweg; Torhoutstraat leads from
the market square onto the Kalfvaartstraat. At the end of Kalfvaartstraat is a
large junction on which Brugseweg is the first right hand turning.
The cemetery itself lies 10 kilometres along the Brugseweg on the right hand
side of the road after passing through the village of Poelkapelle.
Poelcapelle (now Poelkapelle) was taken by the Germans from the French on
the 20th October, 1914, entered by the 11th Division on the 4th October, 1917,
evacuated by the British in April, 1918, and retaken by the Belgians on the
28th September, 1918. It has given its name to the battle of the 9th October,
1917, one of the Battles of Ypres.
The village contains a monument to Captain Guynemer, the French airman, who
fell in the neighbourhood in September, 1917. The commune contained a number of
German Cemeteries; and close to the British Cemetery were Poelcapelle East
German Cemetery, made by the Germans, and Poelcapelle New German Cemetery, made
by British burial parties after the Armistice.
Poelcapelle British Cemetery was made after the Armistice by the
concentration of graves from other cemeteries and from the battlefields. The
great majority of the dead who now rest in it fell in the last five months of
1917, and particularly in the month of October, but certain plots (IA, VIA,
VIIA, LI and LXI) contain many graves of 1914 and 1915.
There are now nearly 7,500, 1914-18 and 1, 1939-45 war casualties
commemorated in this site. Of these, over 6,200 from the 1914-18 War are
unidentified and special memorials are erected to eight soldiers from the
United Kingdom and one from the Channel Islands known or believed to be buried
Other special memorials record the names of 24 soldiers from the United
Kingdom and three from Canada, buried by the enemy, whose graves could not be
found. The cemetery covers an area of 22,586 square metres and is enclosed by a
low red brick wall.
The following were among the burial grounds from which British graves were
removed to this cemetery.
HOUTHULST FOREST NEW MILITARY CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, near the South side of
the Forest, on the road from Poelcapelle to Houthulst. Here were buried a
number of French soldiers, as well as 21 soldiers and two airmen from the
United Kingdom, who fell in the winter of 1917-18.
KEERSELAERE FRENCH CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, 800 metres West of the hamlet of
Keerselaere, in which 29 French soldiers, five Canadian and two from the United
Kingdom were buried in 1915, apparently by the enemy.
PILCKEM ROAD GERMAN CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, on the South-West side of the
bridge over the Hannebeek, in which 13 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one
from Canada were buried by the enemy in 1914-17.
POELCAPELLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY, in which one soldier from the United Kingdom
was buried in 1915.
POELCAPELLE GERMAN CEMETERY NO.2, about 1.6 kilometres South-East of the
village, which contained the graves of 96 soldiers from the United Kingdom and
Canada who fell in 1914-15.
ST. JEAN CHURCHYARD, in which 44 soldiers from the United Kingdom were
buried in 1915, but which was completely destroyed in later fighting.
STADEN FRENCH MILITARY CEMETERY, made by the 169th Infantry Regiment and
containing the graves of 80 French soldiers and one R.A.F. Officer.
VIJFWEGEN GERMAN CEMETERY NO.1, close to the railway halte, in which three
soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried by the enemy.
2nd Lieutenant Hugh Langton
4 Bn London Regt (Royal Fusiliers)
Died on 26 October 1917, Aged: 32
Son of J. Gordon Langton and Emily Langton, of 9E, Hyde Park Mansions,
London; husband of Una Langton, of 92 Hornsey Lane, London. A pupil of
Professors Secvik (Prague), Wirth (Berlin), and Auer (Russia).
First initiate of the Gordon Langton Lodge, No.3069.
His headstone can be found on the wall on your left as you enter the
cemetery. It is one of the Special Memorials in that his body is
believed to be in the cemetery. It is also unusual in having a musical
motif rather than words.