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Webmatters : Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Ieper
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Ypres Reservoir Cemetery

Location

The cemetery is located to the North West of Ieper. From the station turn left and drive along M.Fochlaan to the roundabout, turn right and go to the next roundabout. Here turn left into M.Haiglaan and continue for 300 metres and then turn right into M.Plumerlaan. The cemetery is on the right hand side, approximately 200 metres along the road.

 

Historical Information

From October 1914 to the autumn of 1918, Ypres (now Ieper) was at the centre of a salient held by Commonwealth (and for some months by French) forces.

From April 1915, it was bombarded and destroyed more completely than any other town of its size on the Western Front, but even so certain buildings remained distinguishable. The ruins of the cathedral and the cloth hall stood together in the middle of the city, part of the infantry barracks stood in an angle of the south walls and the prison, reservoir and water tower were together at the western gate.

Ypres Reservoir Cemetery

Three cemeteries were made near the western gate: two between the prison and the reservoir, both now removed into the third, and the third on the north side of the prison. The third was called at first the Cemetery North of the Prison, later Ypres Reservoir North Cemetery, and now Ypres Reservoir Cemetery.

This cemetery was begun in October 1915 and used by fighting units and field ambulances until after the Armistice, when it contained 1,099 graves. The cemetery was later enlarged when graves were brought in from smaller cemeteries or from the battlefields of the salient.

In Plot V, Row AA, are the graves of 16 officers and men of the 6th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, who were billeted in the vaults of the cathedral and killed on 12 August 1915 by shelling from the “Ypres Express” firing from Houthulst Forest. The survivors were rescued by the 11th King’s Liverpools, but these bodies were not recovered until after the Armistice.

There are now 2,613 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 1,034 of the burials are unidentified.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

 


Gunner Charles Parker

Gunner Charles Parker 126803
1st Siege Battery
Canadian Garrison Artillery
Died on 7th November 1917

Grave: I I 104


Lt Colonel St Barbe Russel Sladen

Lt Colonel St Barbe Sladen
1st Bn The Queen’s
Royal West Surrey Regiment
Died on 12th March 1918 aged 45
Only son of the late Mr and Mrs St. Barbe Sladen
of Heathfield, Reigate, Surrey
Husband of Dorothy Sladen
of Hampton Dene, Hereford

Grave: I C 79


Guardsman William Styles

Guardsman William Styles 19685
1st Bn Grenadier Guards
Died on 20th March 1916

Grave: I C 71


Guardsman Sydney Styles

Guardsman Sydney Styles 8229
1st Bn Grenadier Guards
Died on 20th March 1916

Grave: I C 72


Major James Knott

Major James Knott
10th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment
Prince of Wales’s Own
Died on 1st July 1916 aged 33
Son of Sir James Knott, 1st Bart
and Lady Knott
of Close House, Wylam-on-Tyne
Brother of Capt. H Knott who also fell
and is buried next to him

Grave: V B 15

Devoted in life
In death not divided


Captain Henry Knott

Captain Henry Knott
9th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
Died on 7th September 1915 aged 24
Son of Sir James Knott, 1st Bart
and Lady Knott
of Close House, Wylam-on-Tyne
Brother of Major J Knott who also fell
and is buried next to him

Grave: V B 16

Devoted in life
In death not divided

 

Victoria Cross

There is one recipient of the Victoria Cross in the cemetery.

Brigadier General Francis Maxwell VC CSI DSO
18th Bengal Lancers
Commanding 27th Infantry Brigade
9th (Scottish) Division
Died on 21st September 1917 aged 46
Son of Thomas Maxwell, M.D., and Violet Maxwell
Husband of Charlotte Maxwell

Grave: I A 37

The London Gazette
8th March 1901

Lieutenant Maxwell was one of three Officers not belonging to “Q” Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, specially mentioned by Lord Roberts as having shown the greatest gallantry, and disregard of danger, in carrying out the self-imposed duty of saving the guns of that Battery during the affair at Korn Spruit on 31st March 1900.

This Officer went out on five different occasions and assisted to bring in two guns and three limbers, one of which he, Captian Humphreys, and some Gunners, dragged in by hand. He also went out with Captain Humphreys and Lieutenant Stirling to try to get the last gun in, and remained there till the attempt was abandoned.

During a previous Campaign (the Chitral Expedition of 1895) Lieutenant Maxwell displayed gallantry in the removal of the body of Lieutenant-Colonel F D Battye, Corps of Guides, under fire, for which, though recommended, he received no reward.

 

Executed soldiers


Private Thomas Moles

Private Thomas Moles 443288
54th Bn Canadian Infantry
Central Ontario Regiment
Died on 2nd October 1917 aged 28
Son of Louisa Moles and the late John Moles
of West Chinnock, Crewkerne, Somerset, England,
Native of Brompton Ralph

Grave: I H 76

Shot at Dawn for Desertion

Moles, a native of Somerset, had emigrated to Canada where he had become a rancher. He enlisted in the Canadian Infantry on 21st July 1915 and arrived in France a few months later. He already had convictions for drunkenness, and at some stage in 1917 he went missing (again) from his battalion. On being arrested he was tried and executed for desertion.


There are two other executed soldiers in the cemetery.

Private Ernest Lawrence 3/20279
2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment
Died on 22nd November 1917 aged 21
Son of John Lawrence
of 101, Clifton Rd., South Norwood, London

Grave: I I 145

Shot at Dawn for Desertion

Lawrence went absent on the 5th May 1917 having taken the chance of deserting the lines whilst on a rations run. He managed to get as far as Rouen where he gave himself up. He was taken back to his regiment and sent back up to the front line – from which he promptly deserted again on the 8th May. Once again he made his way to Rouen but this time with false documents.

He was arrested but managed to escape and took up work repairing aircraft for the RFC. He managed to remain at large until the 8th August when he was finally arrested for good. Having shown that he was more than likely to desert again the decision of the courts was inevitable.


Private Charles McColl 11/81
1/4th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 28th December 1917 aged 26
Son of Mrs. Annie McColl
of 6, Bramham Avenue, Woodhouse Street, Hull

Grave: IV A 6

Shot at Dawn for Desertion

Charles McColl had enlisted in 1914 with the 11th Battalion and had served in Egypt before being brought back to the Western Front. He was wounded by a shell at Neuve Chapelle in September 1916 and was invalided home to recover.

He was later sent back to the front with the 1/4th Battalion. He deserted almost immediately and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment (such sentences were always suspended so that the guilty party was available for duty as opposed to being able to languish in a comfy cell for the duration of the war). He then deserted again on the 28th October 1917 during the 3rd Battle of Ypres and made his way to Calais. He was easily picked up and brought to trial.

 

Other cemeteries in the area


Recent Additions

Canadian Cemetery No.2

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery

Petit Vimy British Cemetery

CWGC Poppy Button