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Webmatters : Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Zillebeke
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Railway Dugouts Burial Ground


Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) is located 2 kilometres south-east of Ieper town centre, on the Komenseweg, a road connecting Ieper to Komen (N336). From Ieper town centre the Komenseweg is located via the Rijselsestraat, through the Rijselpoort (Lille Gate) and crossing the Ieper ring road, towards Armentières and Lille. The road name then changes to Rijselseweg. 1 kilometre along the Rijselseweg lies the left hand turning onto Komenseweg.

This junction is immediately before the railway crossing and is well marked with a number of CWGC Panels.

The cemetery itself is located 1.2 kilometres along the Komenseweg on the right hand side of the road.

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground


Historical Information

At 2 kilometres west of the village of Zillebeke the railway runs on an embankment, overlooking a small farmstead known to the British Army as Transport Farm.

It is a place screened by slightly rising ground to the East, and burials on the site of the cemetery began in April 1915. They were continued until the Armistice, especially in 1916 and 1917, when Advanced Dressing Stations were placed in the Dugouts and the farm.

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground

They were made in small groups, without any definite arrangement; and in the summer of 1917 a considerable number were obliterated by shell fire before they could be marked.

The names Railway Dugouts and Transport Farm were used indifferently, and both are included in the present name. At the time of the Armistice, 1 705 graves were known and marked.

Other graves were then brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries in the neighbourhoods, and 258 known graves, destroyed by artillery fire, were specially commemorated. The latter were mainly in the present Plots IV and VII.

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground

There are now nearly 2 500, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 400 are unidentified and 261 are represented by special memorials. Other special memorials record the names of 42 soldiers from Canada and 30 from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed in later fighting.

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground

The cemetery covers an area of 16 374 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall, except where it borders the pond.

Valley Cottages Cemetery, Zillebeke, was among a group of cottages on Observatory Road, which runs Eastward from Zillebeke village. It contained the graves of 111 soldiers from the United Kingdom and Canada. It was in an exposed position during the greater part of the war, and of the graves in it are represented by special memorials in Railway Dugouts Burial Ground.

Transport Farm Annexe was about 90 metres South-East of the Railway Dugouts Cemetery, on the road to Verbrandenmolen. The graves in it were removed to Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Zillebeke; but one officer, whose grave was not found, is specially commemorated here.


Sapper William Sloan

Sapper William Sloan 503460
2nd Tunnelling Company
Canadian Engineers
Died on 28th June 1916

Grave: VI H 18


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

CWGC Poppy Button