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Webmatters : Ypres Town Cemetery, Ieper

Ypres Town Cemetery

Location

Ypres Town Cemetery is located a kilometre east of Ieper town centre, on the Zonnebeekseweg, connecting Ieper to Menen on the N345. From Ieper town centre the Zonnebeekseweg is located via Torhoutstraat and right onto Basculestraat. Basculestraat ends at a main crossroads, and the Zonnebeekseweg is the first left turning. The cemetery itself is located 300 metres along the Zonnebeekseweg on the right hand side of the road.

In other words it is about three hundred metres on the far side of the Menin Gate Memorial. The cemetery is surrounded by a high red brick wall and the entrance to the CWGC cemeteries is at the far end. Parking is limited on the side of the road so find a space alongside the cemetery wall before you reach the houses.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.853918 2.897612 Map

Ypres Town Cemetery

The Town Cemetery

 

Historical Information

From October 1914 to the summer of 1918, Ypres (now Ieper) formed the centre of a salient held by Commonwealth (and for a while French) forces. From April 1915, the town was bombarded and destroyed more completely than any other town of its size on the western front.

By the outbreak of the Second World War, Ieper had been completely rebuilt, but saw heavy fighting before it fell to the Germans on 29th May 1940.

Ypres Town Cemetery

Close to the Menin Gate, was used from October 1914 to May 1915, and once in 1918. The cemetery contains 145 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, grouped in plots among the civil graves.

You enter these cemeteries via the Extension. Half way up on your right is a pathway leading through to the plots within the Town Cemetery. Within the Town Cemetery is Prince Maurice of Battenberg.

The Extension

On the east side of the town cemetery, was also begun in October 1914 and was used until April 1915, and on two further occasions in 1918. The Extension was much increased after the Armistice when 367 graves were brought in from small cemeteries and isolated positions east and north of Ypres.

Ypres Town Cemetery Extension

The Extension

There are now 598 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in the extension. 137 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to 16 servicemen known or believed to be buried among them. Second World War burials number 43, of which 13 are unidentified.

During and after the fighting of May 1940, three civilian hospitals in the town, (Hopital de Notre Dame, the Clinique des Soeurs Noires and the Red Cross Hospital in St. Aloisius School, D’Hondstraat), cared for the wounded, and those who died were buried in the Town Cemetery Extension. Others buried on the battlefield were later brought in by the Ypres town services.

There are now 598 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in the extension. 137 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to 16 servicemen known or believed to be buried among them. Second World War burials number 43, of which 13 are unidentified.

The extension was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Ypres Town Cemetery Extension

The Extension

 


Major George Paley

Major George Paley
Rifle Brigade
GSO2 1st Division HQ Staff
Died on 31st October 1914 aged 42
Son of William Paley
of Freckenham, Suffolk
Husband of Rose Paley,
of Garroch, Dalry, Kirkcudbrightshire
Served in the Soudan and South African Campaigns

Grave: III AA 3

Paley and Kerr (below) were both killed when the combined HQs of 1st and 2nd Divisions at Hooge Ch√Ęteau was hit by shellfire during a critical moment of the 1st Battle of Ypres. Other casualties are buried alongside. Generals Monro and Lomax were both injured and Lomax later died of his wounds.


Colonel Frederic Kerr DSO

Colonel Frederic Kerr DSO
1st Bn Gordon Highlanders
GSO1 1st Division HQ Staff
Died on 31st October 1914 aged 47
Son of Admiral Lord Frederic Kerr
Husband of Lady Helen Kerr
of Lavender Cottage, Breamore, Salisbury

Grave: III AA 4

See Paley (above)


Sapper Owen Owen

Sapper Owen Owen 6737
2nd Siege Company
Royal Anglesey
Royal Engineers
Died on 4th May 1915 aged 17
Son of Owen and Ann Owen
of Garreglwyd Cottage, Holyhead

Grave: I C 4


Lord Worsley

Lieutenant Charles Pelham
Lord Worsley
Royal Horse Guards
Machine Gun section
Zandvoorde
Died on 30th October 1914 aged 27
Son of Charles Worsley Pelham
4th Earl Yarborough
of Brocklesby Park, Lincolnshire
Husband of Lady Worsley
of 8, Great Cumberland Place, London

Grave: II D 4

He died fighting for God
And right and liberty
And such a death is immortality

The Household Cavalry’s memorial is located at his original burial site at Zanvoorde and commemorates their stand during the 1st Battle of Ypres. The site was purchased by Lady Worsley. Link below.


Fusilier Herbert Wilson

Fusilier Herbert Wilson 6977323
2nd Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Died on 27th May 1940 aged 30
Son of William and Mary Wilson

Grave: IV A 40

Your spirit my wonderful boy
Lives on, noble and true
We owe our all
to lads like you


Sergeant Karel Pavlik

Sergeant Karel Pavlik
313 (Czech) Squadron
Royal Air Force
Died on 5th May 1942 aged 24

Grave: IV A 41

Circus 157 was the code-name for an Allied bombing attack on Lille (in France) on 5th May 1942. The mission by the Boston bombers was a failure due to the cloud level over the target and the bombers and their Spitfire escort turned for home.

Sometime around 1530 hours the group was intercepted and a dog-fight between the RAF Spitfires and German FW 190s occurred above Heuvelland — the hills you can see to the south of Ieper around Kemmel.

Karel Pavlik crashed on the slope of the Kemmelberg (Mont Kemmel). Some moments later Sergeant Ribout fell to his death in Nieuwkerke because his parachute did not work. Engine-problems caused Stacey Jones to crash in Couthof in Provens. The Belgian flight commander, Baudoin de Hemptinne was injured and although he managed to land his plane near Dranouter he died shortly afterwards.

There is a memorial erected for Pavlik near Kemmelberg, one to Ribout at Ploegsteert and one for de Hemptinne on the village square of Dranouter.

Alongside Pavlik you will find :

  • Sergeant Roland Ribout
    RCAF 122 (RAF) Squadron 5th May 1942
  • Flight Sergeant Stacey Jones
    RAF 122 Squadron 5th May 1942

The Belgian, Flight Lieutenant Baudoin de Hemptinne of 122 Squadron, was removed (the gap) and is now buried in Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgian Airmen’s Field of Honour.

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

CWGC Poppy Button