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Webmatters : Voormezele Enclosure No 3

Voormezele Enclosure No 3

Location

Voormezele Enclosure No 3 is located 4 kilometres south-west of Ieper town centre on the Ruusschaartstraat, a road leading from the Kemmelseweg (Connecting Ieper to Kemmel N331).

From Ieper town centre the Kemmelseweg is reached via the Rijselsestraat, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and straight on towards Armentières (N365). 900 metres after the crossroads is the right hand turning onto the Kemmelseweg (immediately before the level crossing).

Turn right onto the Kemmelseweg and follow this road to the first crossroads, turn left here into Ruusschaartstraat. The Cemetery is located 1 kilometre after this junction on the left hand side of the road just before Voormezele Dorp.

p(yellow) Within a couple of hundred metres further along this road are Voormezele Enclosures 1 and 2.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.818395 2.873204 Map

Voormezele Enclosure No 3

 

Historical Information

The Voormizeele Enclosures (at one time four in number, but now reduced to three) were originally regimental groups of graves, begun very early in the First World War and gradually increased until the village and the cemeteries were captured by the Germans after very heavy fighting on 29th April 1918.

PPCLI Graves

Voormezele Enclosure No 3, the largest of these burial grounds, was begun by the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in February 1915. Their graves are in Plot III.

The other Plots from I to IX are the work of other units, or pairs of units, and include a few graves of October 1918. Plots X and XII are of a more general character.

Plots XIII to XVI were made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated sites and smaller cemeteries. These concentrated graves cover the months from January 1915 to October 1918, and they include those of many men of the 15th Hampshires and other units who recaptured this ground early in September 1918.

There are now 1,611 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Voormezele Enclosure No 3.

609 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 15 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of five casualties whose graves in another cemetery could not be found on concentration.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Voormezele Enclosure No 3

 


2nd Lieutenant George Llewelyn Davies

2nd Lieutenant George Llewelyn Davies
6th Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Died on 15th March 1915 aged 21
Son of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies.

Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge

Step-son of Sir JM Barrie, Bart, Model for Barrie’s Peter Pan

Grave: II E 2

George’s uncle Guy du Maurier had been killed on the 9th March and is buried in Kemmel Château Cemetery.

Barrie wrote to George about his uncle’s death and in a letter of reply on the 14th George told him that he was well and taking every care of himself. Spring was in the air and the ground was drying out. It was important that Uncle Jim should keep his spirits up. It was the last letter he ever wrote.

The following day George was struck in the head by a bullet whilst attending a briefing by his commanding officer and died almost immediately.

 

Two commanding officers

Immediately to the right of the front row of Plot III you will see two consecutive Commanding Officers of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry


Lt Colonel Francis Farquhar

Lt Colonel Francis Farquhar DSO
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
Eastern Ontario Regiment
Died on 21st March 1915 aged 40
Son of Sir Henry 4th Bart. and the Hon. Alice Farquhar
Husband of Lady Evelyn Farquhar
of 30 Gloucester Place, Portman Square, London.

Grave: III A 6

Just before the actual outbreak of war Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault had proffered the idea to the Canadian authorities of raising a regiment of cavalry to aid Britain should it be necessary. He would donate $100 000 to help finance the unit.

Lt Colonel Francis Farquhar DSO, Coldstream Guards, was Military Secretary to Canada’s Governor General, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught and was eager to see Gault’s idea brought to fruition. He asked the Duke if he would allow them to name the Regiment after his daughter: Princess Patricia. Both were delighted with the honour.

On the 6th August 1914 the Canadian Government provisionally accepted Hamilton Gault’s offer and on the 10th the authority to raise a Regiment of Infantry – it being thought that they would be more suitable than cavalry (So at least somebody, somewhere, could see further than stirrups in 1914).

The Regiment would be unique in that it carried its colours with it throughout the war.

The Battalion War Diary simply states that Colonel Farquhar was mortally wounded and died at 0230 hours on the 21st during a tour at the front near St Elooi. He was buried later that day in the Battalion Cemetery with the Rev Percival Corneau Chaplain to the 2nd KSLI officiating.


Lt Colonel Herbert Buller

Lt Colonel Herbert Buller DSO
(Major The Rifle Brigade temporarily commanding)
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
Eastern Ontario Regiment
Died on 2nd June 1916 aged 34
Son of the late Admiral Sir Alexander
and Lady Buller

Grave: III A 7

At evening time
it shall be light

On the 2nd June 1916 the Germans launched a heavy assault on the area of the British lines between Hooge and Mont Elooi. The PPCLI were holding the front in Sanctuary Wood and came under a five hour bombardment followed by a furious attack by the German infantry using flame throwers. To their right the line gave way but the Patricia’s valiantly held on (almost losing its colour at one point) despite very heavy casualties including Colonel Buller.

It was decided following the battle that he should be buried alongside his predecessor at Voormezele in the Battalion Cemetery.

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

CWGC Poppy Button