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Webmatters : Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Proven

Mendinghem Military Cemetery


Mendinghem Military Cemetery is located 17 Kms north-west of Ieper town centre on the N308 connecting Ieper to Poperinge and on to Oost-Cappel.

From Ieper town centre the Poperingseweg (N308), is reached via Elverdingsestraat then directly over two small roundabouts in the J. Capronstraat. The Poperingseweg is a continuation of the J. Capronstraat and begins after a prominent railway level crossing.

On reaching the ring road of Poperinge R33 Europalaan, the left hand clockwise route circles the town of Poperinge and rejoins the N308 towards Oost-Cappel. 6.5 Kms after joining the N308 lies the village of Proven. The cemetery is located 500 metres beyond the village of Proven on the left hand side of the road (which at this point is called Roesbruggestraat).

Mendinghem Military Cemetery


Historical Information

Mendinghem, like Dozinghem and Bandaghem, were the popular names given by the troops to groups of casualty clearing stations posted to this area during the First World War.

In July 1916, the 46th (1st/1st Wessex) Casualty Clearing Station was opened at Proven and this site was chosen for its cemetery. The first burials took place in August 1916. In July 1917, four further clearing stations arrived at Proven in readiness for the forthcoming Allied offensive on this front and three of them, the 46th, 12th and 64th, stayed until 1918. From May to July 1918, while the German offensive was at its height, field ambulances were posted at Proven. The cemetery was closed (except for one later burial) in September 1918.

There are now 2,391 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in this cemetery and 52 German war graves.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Mendinghem Military Cemetery


Bertram Best-Dunkley VC

Lt Colonel Bertram Best-Dunkley VC
2/5th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
Died on 5th August 1917 aged 27
Native of York

Grave: III D 1

The London Gazette 30272
4th September 1917

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion, the leading waves of which, during an attack, became disorganised by reason of rifle and machine gun fire at close range from positions which were believed to be in our hands. Lt. Col. Best-Dunkley dashed forward, rallied his leading waves, and personally led them to the assault of these positions, which, despite heavy losses, were carried.

He continued to lead his battalion until all their objectives had been gained. Had it not been for this officer’s gallant and determined action it is doubtful if the left of the brigade would have reached its objectives.

Later in the day, when our position was threatened, he collected his battalion headquarters, led them to the attack, and beat off the advancing enemy.


Private Galletly Haliburton

Private Galletly Haliburton 13052
2nd Regiment
South African Infantry
Died on 24th September 1917 aged 17
Son of William and Mary Haliburton
of Galahill Ritson Rd., Durban, South Africa
Native of Galashiels, Scotland

Grave: V E 34

Private Arthur Thompson

Private Arthur Thompson 20499
XVIII Corps Cyclist Bn
Army Cyclist Corps
20th September 1917 aged 17
Son of William and Mary Thompson
of 7, Stanley Place, Stanley Rd., Leeds

Grave: VII E 22

Died of Wounds
Duty Nobly Done
Dear Son

Trooper Alfred Dunne

Trooper Alfred Dunne 3827
2nd Life Guards
Died on 11th October 1917 aged 17
Son of Major and Mrs. F. Dunne
of 3, Alexandra Rd., Kingston-on-Thames

Grave: VI E 6

O monstrous world
To be direct and honest
is not safe

Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello

Able Seaman Walter Warner

Able Seaman Walter Warner TZ/5631
Howe Bn RN Division
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Died on 30th October 1917 aged 17
Son of Emily and the late Leonard Warner
of 33, Causeway Lane, Leicester

Grave: VI A 23


Shot at Dawn

Private Charles Britton

Private Charles Britton 200757
1/5th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Died on 12th September 1917
Son of John and Ellen Britton
of 31, Allison Street, Birmingham

Grave: VII F 36

Executed for Desertion

Charles Britton had deserted at the beginning of the 3rd Battle of Ypres. He was arrested on the 16th August and sent for trial. The fact that he had gone absent just as his unit was sent to the front would have counted against him.

Private David Gibson

Private David Gibson 38332
12th Bn Royal Scots
Died on 24th September 1918 aged 25
Son of John and Jane Gibson
of Bridgeton, Glasgow
Husband of Agnes Gibson
of 3381, Gallowgate, Glasgow

Grave: X E 19

Executed for Desertion

David Gibson had enlisted in his regiment and served on the Western Front. In 1918 he was granted leave but failed to return from Glasgow. He was arrested by the police and sent back to his unit (Becoming the last soldier to be arrested in the UK and sent back to France).

As the battalion was about to go into action Gibson was offered the chance of going in to battle to redeem himself. Instead he went absent again. He was arrested two days later having sealed his own fate.

Rifleman John Hyde

Rifleman John Hyde R/27615
10th Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Died on 5th September 1917
Son of Mr. W. Hyde
of 35, Ridgdale St., Bow, London

Grave: V A 29

Executed for Desertion

John Hyde had gone absent whilst his battalion was in action during the 3rd Battle of Ypres. This probably weighed against him for although he did not have any previous serious crimes behind him his superiors confirmed the death sentence.


Other cemeteries in the area

Recent Additions

Brimont Churchyard

Braine Communal Cemetery

Soupir Churchyard

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