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Webmatters : Poelcapelle British Cemetery

Poelcapelle British Cemetery


Poelcapelle British Cemetery is located 10 km 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 km along the Brugseweg on the right hand side of the road after passing through the village of Poelkapelle

Note the modern Dutch spelling of the town’s name : Poelkapelle.

Decimal 50.920980 2.971995 Map

Poelcapelle British Cemetery


Historical Information

Poelkapelle was taken by the Germans from the French on 20th October 1914, entered by the 11th Division on 4th October 1917, evacuated by Commonwealth forces in April 1918, and retaken by the Belgians on 28th September 1918.

Poelcapelle British Cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and the following smaller cemeteries :

  • Houthulst Forest New Military Cemetery, Langemarck, near the South side of the Forest, on the road from Poelkapelle 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, about 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, nearly 1.6 km 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.

The great majority of the graves date from the last five months of 1917, and in particular October, but certain plots (IA, VIA, VIIA, LI and LXI) contain many graves of 1914 and 1915. There are now 7,479 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Peolcappelle British Cemetery.

6,230 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate 8 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate 24 servicemen buried by the Germans in other burial grounds in the area whose graves could not be located.

There is also one burial of the Second World War within the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Charles Holden.

Poelcapelle British Cemetery


2nd Lieutenant Hugh Langton

2nd Lieutenant Hugh Langton
4th Bn London Regiment
Royal Fusiliers
Died on 26th October 1917 aged 32
Son of J. Gordon 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.

Special Memorial: 3

Perhaps the only headstone with musical notes for an inscription.

Lieutenant Myer Tutzer Cohen

Lieutenant Myer Tutzer Cohen MC
42nd Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 3rd November 1917 aged 22
Son of Moses M. Cohen
of 99, Machson Avenue, Toronto, Canada

Grave: XXXIV A 15

Private John Condon

Private John Condon 6322
2nd Bn Royal Irish regiment
Died on 24th May 1915 aged 14
Son of John and Mary Condon
of Waterford.

Grave: LVI F 8

Much has been written about this grave. Setting aside the fact that there is doubt in some researchers mind that the burial is John Condon at all, there is also the controversy as to his age.

The CWGC have him listed as the youngest soldier to have died stating that he was 14 years old. The problem being that he was at least 18 having been born on 16th October 1896 according to his birth certificate. His Military Record was one of the few that survived the Blitz and from that we can see that John had joined the Army before the war.

It is highly unlikely that a peace time recruiter would have accepted a twelve-year-old boy.

The youngest confirmed Commonwealth casualty is David Ross, 14 years old. He is buried at Heudicourt, on the Somme.


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button