Home |About Us | Links | Contact | Submit to the Site | Site Map



Buttes New British Cemetery is located 8 Kms east of Ieper town centre on the Lange Dreve, a road leading from the Meenseweg (N8) connecting Ieper to Menen. From Ieper town centre the Meenseweg is located via Torhoutstraat and right onto Basculestraat. Basculestraat ends at a main crossroads, directly over which begins the Meenseweg. 4.7 Kms along the Meenseweg, after the Bellewaerde theme park, lies the left hand turning onto Oude Kortrijkstraat. 2 Kms along the Oude Kortrijkstraat the road crosses the A19 motorway. Immediately after this bridge is the left hand turning onto the Lotegatstraat, which borders Polygon Wood. 800 meters along the Lotegatstraat is the right hand turning onto Lange Dreve. The Cemetery is located 1 Km along the Lange Dreve on the right hand side of the road.


Polygon Wood (the "Polygone de Zonnebeke", or Polygoneveld) is a large wood south of the village of Zonnebeke which was completely devastated in the First World War. The wood was cleared by Commonwealth troops at the end of October 1914, given up on 3 May 1915, taken again at the end of September 1917 by Australian troops, evacuated in the Battles of the Lys, and finally retaken by the 9th (Scottish) Division on 28 September 1918. On the Butte itself is the Battle Memorial of the 5th Australian Division, who captured it on 26 September 1917.


POLYGON WOOD CEMETERY is an irregular front-line cemetery made between August 1917 and April 1918, and used again in September 1918. A walled avenue leads from Polygon Wood Cemetery, past the Cross of Sacrifice, to the BUTTES NEW BRITISH CEMETERY. This burial ground was made after the Armistice when a large number of graves (almost all of 1917, but in a few instances of 1914, 1916 and 1918) were brought in from the battlefields of Zonnebeke.


There are now 2,108 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Buttes New British Cemetery. 1,677 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials are erected to 35 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemeteries and memorial were designed by Charles Holden. the 9th (Scottish) Division on 28 September 1918. On the Butte itself is the Battle Memorial of the Australian troops of the 5th Division, who captured it on 26 September 1917.


The BUTTES NEW BRITISH CEMETERY New Zealand Memorial, which stands in Buttes New British Cemetery, commemorates 378 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who died in the Polygon Wood sector between September 1917 and May 1918, and who have no known grave. This is one of seven memorials in France and Belgium to those New Zealand soldiers who died on the Western Front and whose graves are not known. The memorials are all in cemeteries chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the men died.


Casualty Details: UK 1297; Canada 50; Australia 564; New Zealand 162; Entirely Unidentified 30; Total burials: 2103


The cemeteries and memorial were designed by Charles Henry Holden

& Captain Wilfred Clement Von Berg, MC




7075 Private

Frederick McCabe

2nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

22/09/1917, aged 19.

Son of James Warwick McCabe and Emily Maria McCabe, of Hudson St., Granville, New South Wales.

Plot XXIV. D. 9.


5946 Private

Frederick Thomas Hills

22nd Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.


Son of Richard and Louisa Jane Hills. Native of Victoria, Australia.

Plot XVII. B. 18.



This photo was inscribed with "Phil Hall was buried somewhere near here." 'This was a cousin of Lt Harvey.' The sign in the snow reads 'TO POLYGONE [sic] WOOD. SUPPPORT & FRONT LINES.' Phil Hall is probably 3796 Private (Pte) William Philip Hall, 29th Battalion, of Geelong, Vic. He was killed in action on 26 September 1917 and buried in Polygon Wood Race Course. He was later re-buried in Duhallow A D S Cemetery, Belgium. (One of a collection of photographs belonging to Lieutenant (Lt) Robert Trevor Williams and taken by Lt William Wyatt Harvey during a battlefield tour of France and Belgium, January 1919, by officers of the 3rd Pioneer Battalion. The original caption quoted in double inverted commas is by Lt Harvey. The original caption quoted in single inverted commas is by Lt Williams.)





3831 Private

John Michael Benjamin Hassed

31st Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

26/09/1917, aged 26.

Son of John and Annie Hassed, of Morven, Queensland. Native of Bourke, New South Wales.

Plot XXIV. B. 14.



3365 Private

John Samuel Bell

50th Bn, Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

22/06/1917, aged 22.

Son of Francis John Patterson Bell and Elizabeth Hannah Bell. Native of McLaren Vale, South Australia.

Plot XXVI. A. 17.

1937. An Australian Coronation contingent at a service in front of the 5th Australian Division memorial on the Butte at Polygon Wood



1918. Memorial cross to Australian servicemen killed at Polygon Wood, it is marked; "In Loving Memory of the Officers, Non Commissioned Officers and Men of the 15th Field Company, Australian Engineers, Who Were Killed in Action 26.9.1917 - 3.10.1917, A Token of Esteem From Their Comrades."


572 Sergeant

Charles Morris Greengrass

7th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

04/10/1917, aged 24.

Son of George and Jane Greengrass, of 31, Stephen St., Yarraville, Victoria, Australia.

Plot XXIX. D. 2.



2456 Private

Douglas Faithful Price

59th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

26/09/1917, aged 23.

Son of David and Mary Price, of Orbost, Victoria, Australia.

Plot XXVIII. C. 9.






c 1921. "Following the barrage, 20th September, 1917". A hand-coloured print of a photograph taken by an unknown Australian soldier showing the attack on Polygon Wood by the Australian troops that followed a great barrage on the morning of 20 September 1917. This hand-coloured print was produced by Colarts Studio, also known as the Colograph-Art Company. Colarts was the contractor to the Australian War Memorial for producing photographic prints for sale to the public. The studio produced enlargements, intended for framing, and toned and hand-coloured prints. Joynt also collected soldier photographs, from which he produced, exhibited, and sold similar coloured enlargements. Colarts was owned by Capt. William D. Joynt, V.C. Colarts Studio operated at 98 Albert St, Windsor, Melbourne, then 447-9 Law Courts Place, Melbourne. The entry for this print in Colarts' catalogue of soldier photographs carried the following caption: "The Passchendaele operations saw the greatest concentration of artillery in the war - one gun to every nine years of front - throwing projectiles weighing from 18 lbs. to nearly a ton, to a depth of 1000 yards. Advancing in lifts of 100 yards every three minutes, our men literally walked behind a wall of fire". This print was made in Colarts' Windsor studio. Joynt's collection of soldier photographs was later acquired by the AWM.


3754 Private

Joseph Peter Belleville

29th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

Between 26/09/1917 & 27/09/1917, aged 23.

Son of John P. and Mary A. Belleville. Native of Watchem, Victoria, Australia.

Plot XI. A. 11.


3504 Private

John Hunter

49th Bn. Australian Infantry, A. I. F.

26/09/1917, aged 28.

Plot I. E. 19.

The bodies of five Australian soldiers were discovered in 2006 during a pipeline excavation near Westhoek, Belgium. The Australian Government and Australian Army History Unit worked with Belgian authorities to identify the remains. Two of the soldiers - 1868 Sergeant George Calder, 51st Battalion, and Private John Hunter were identified in 2007 through DNA analysis. A third soldier, 2488 Private George Richard Storey, was identified from further DNA testing in 2008. All five were interred at Buttes New British Military Cemetery, Polygon Wood, Belgium.



Rear view of the 5th Australian Division Memorial as it looked shortly after its construction   5th Australian Division memorial as it looks today, the picture opposite was taken from behind the memorial

Aerial view of Polygonveld (Polygon Wood), 5 September 1917.



Stretcher bearers of the 57th Battalion, passing through the cemetery near the mound in Polygon Wood in the Ypres Sector. This area was subject to almost continual shellfire, the front line, then about 300 yards away, having been established only the morning before, following the attack on this vicinity by the 4th and 5th Division. (Note the bodies of those killed in the centre foreground) - 28th September 1917.



c 1919: A view of the Butte, near Polygon Wood, Ypres. A number of graves of Australian soldiers can be seen in the foreground.



Image of the 5th Australian Division Memorial



Plan of the cemetery

Improvised sign constructed of a thin sheet of tin nailed to a wooden post. The tin is painted white and has 'WALKING WOUNDED' stencilled on it in black paint and a red cross painted in the centre. To the right of the red cross is a single right facing red arrow indicating the direction in which the walking wounded should travel in order to receive aid. The sign its self has been damaged by shrapnel fire with a small hole on the left hand side of the cross that indicates that shrapnel pierced the sign from behind. This sign was found beside a duckboard track running back from Polygon Wood by members of the Australian War Records section in February 1919. It is associated with the Battle of Polygon Wood in September 1917 and indicated the direction walking wounded would go to receive treatment.


3951 Lance Corporal

William White

15th Field Coy. Australian Engineers

26/09/1917, aged 37.

Son of William and Emily Jane White, of Tamworth, New South Wales.

Plot XXVIII. D. 9.



(1919) View of the area around Polygon Butte (far right) taken from Polygon Wood near Zonnebeke. On the far left are rows of stacked shells as well as duckboards, which extend across the centre. In the foreground are the remains of a sandbagged trench, in front of which are several graves marked by crosses. This panorama is one of a series taken by the Australian War Records Section with a 'Cirkut' camera.