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Webmatters : Bedford House Cemetery, Ieper
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Bedford House Cemetery

Location

Bedford House Cemetery is located 2.5 km south of Ieper town centre. The cemetery lies on the Rijselseweg (N365), the road connecting Ieper to Armentières. From Ieper town centre the Rijselsestraat runs from the market square, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and directly over the crossroads with the Ieper ring road. The road name then changes to the Rijselseweg. The cemetery itself is located 2 Km after this crossroads on the left hand side of the Rijselseweg.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.827829 2.889490 Map

Bedford House Cemetery

Enclosure No 6

 

Historical Information

Zillebeke village and most of the commune were in British hands during the greater part of the War; but the number of cemeteries in the neighbourhood bears witness to the fierce fighting in the vicinity from 1914 to 1918.

Bedford House Cemetery

Bedford House, sometimes known as Woodcote House, were the names given by the Army to the Château Rosendal, 1,830 metres south of the Lille Gate of Ieper. It was a country house in a small wooded park, with moats. It never fell into enemy hands, but the house and the trees were gradually destroyed by shell fire.

It was used by Field Ambulances, and as the Headquarters of Brigades and other fighting units; and charcoal pits were started in October 1917. The property became, in time, largely covered by small cemeteries.

Five Enclosures existed at the date of the Armistice; but the graves from No 1 were then removed to White House Cemetery, St Jean, and those from No 5 to Aeroplane Cemetery, Ieper.

Bedford House Cemetery

Alongside Enclosure No 2

Enclosure No 2 was begun in December 1915, and used until October 1918; and after the Armistice 437 graves were added, all but four of which came from the École de Bienfaisance and Asylum British Cemeteries, both at Ieper.

There are over 30 unidentified graves and special memorials are erected (in No 4) to 24 United Kingdom soldiers and one Australian, known or believed to be buried among them.

Other special memorials (in No 2) record the names of two United Kingdom soldiers, buried in the two cemeteries at Ieper, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.

Certain graves in Plots VII, VIII and XV, identified collectively but not individually, are marked by headstones superscribed: Buried near this spot.

Enclosure No 3, the smallest, was used from February 1915, to December 1916; the burials in August-October 1915, were largely carried out by the 17th Division.

Bedford House Cemetery

Enclosure No 4

Enclosure No 4, the largest, was used from June 1916, to February 1918, largely by the 47th (London) Division; and after the Armistice it was enlarged by the concentration of 3,324 graves from other burial grounds and from the battlefields of the Ypres Salient.

Almost two-thirds of the graves are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom known or believed to be buried among them.

Other special memorials record the names of 25 soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves could not be found.

Enclosure No 6 was made in the 1930s from the concentration of graves from the battlefield of the Ypres Salient.

There are also graves of the 1939-1945 War, all of them soldiers of the British Army, who died in the defence of the Ypres-Comines canal and railway at the end of May 1940. It lies on high ground on the west side of the cemetery.

There are now 5,142, 1914-18 and 66, 1939-45 Commonwealth war casualties commemorated in all four sites, 3,014 casualties of the first world war are unidentified. Also commemorated here are 2 Foreign National casualties.

Enclosures 2, 3, and 4 cover an area of 21,541 square metres. They are bounded on the North by a moat and on the other sides by a rubble wall.

Bedford House Cemetery

Enclosure No 4

The following were burial grounds from which British graves were concentrated to Bedford House

  • Asylum British Cemetery, Ypres, was established in the grounds of a mental hospital (the Hospice du Sacre Coeur) a little west of the railway station, between the Poperinghe road and the railway. It was used by Field Ambulances and fighting units from February 1915, to November 1917, and it contained the graves of 265 soldiers from the United Kingdom, nine from Canada, seven from Australia and two of the British West Indies Regiment.
  • Boesinghe French Cemetery No 2, a little South of Bard Cottage, contained the grave of one soldier from the United Kingdom.
  • Droogenbroodhoek German Cemetery, Moorslede, contained the graves of two United Kingdom soldiers who fell in October 1914.
  • École de Bienfaisance Cemetery, Ieper, was on the north side of the Poperinghe road, immediately West of the railway, in the grounds of a school (now rebuilt). It was used by Field Ambulances in 1915-1917, and it contained the graves of 133 soldiers from the United Kingdom, three from Canada, three from Australia and one of the British West Indies Regiment.
  • Kerkhove Churchyard contained the graves of five United Kingdom soldiers, who fell in October and November 1918, and seven German.
  • Poelcapelle German Cemetery No 4, between Langemarck and the Poelcapelle-St Julien road, contained the graves of 52 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1914 and 1916.
  • Zonnebeke British Cemeteries No 1 and No 3 were on the south and north sides respectively of the Broodseinde-Zonnebeke road. Zonnebeke was occupied by the Germans on the 22nd October 1914, retaken by the French on the following day, and evacuated at the beginning of May 1915; retaken by British troops on the 26th September 1917; evacuated again in April 1918; and retaken by Belgian troops on the 28th September 1918. Four British Cemeteries were made by the Germans on the Broodseinde-Zonnebeke road; No 1 contained the graves of 31 United Kingdom soldiers (mainly 2nd East Surrey) who fell in April 1915, and No 3 those of 69 who fell in April and May 1915.

 


Rupert Hallowes VC MC

2nd Lieutenant Rupert Hallowes VC MC
4th Bn Middlesex Regiment
Died on 30th September 1915 aged 34
Son of F and Mary Hallowes
of Dan-y-Ffynnon, Port Talbot, Glam

Grave: Enclosure 4: XIV B 36

The London Gazette 29371
16th November 1915

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the fighting at Hooge between 25th September and 1st October 1915. Second Lieutenant Hallowes displayed throughout these days the greatest bravery and untiring energy, and set a magnificent example to his men during four heavy and prolonged bombardments.

On more than one occasion he climbed up on the parapet, utterly regardless of danger, in order to put fresh heart into his men. He made daring reconnaissances of the German positions in our lines. When the supply of bombs was running short he went back under very heavy shell fire and brought up a fresh supply. Even after he was mortally wounded he continued to cheer those around him and to inspire them with fresh courage.

 


Private Harry Reidler

Private Harry Reidler 557740
1002nd Russian Company, Labour Corps
Died on 17th July 1919 aged 29

Grave: Enclosure 4: III L 10

 


Private Frederick Turner

Private Frederick Turner 266120
6th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
Died on 23rd October 1917 aged 31
Son of William and Mary Turner
of 62 First St, Bensham, Gateshead

Grave: Enclosure 4: IV A 18

Came to Jesus as I was
Weary, worn and sad
I found in him
A resting place

Shot at Dawn for desertion

Turner had volunteered for his Territorial unit and arrived in France in 1915. In November 1916 he was wounded but it was almost a year later in August 1917 that he left the reserve trench near Arras. He was arrested but managed to make his escape only to be caught whilst fleeing a Calais bound train a few days later.

At his trial Turner stated that he was suffering from depression and had not had leave throughout his twenty months of service in France.

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

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