General Directions: Taking the signs from Ieper to Poperinghe, the Poperingseweg (N308) starts after the prominent railway crossing. On reaching the Poperinghe ring road (R33, Europalaan), the left hand clockwise route circles the town of Poperinghe and rejoins the N308 towards Oost Cappel, 6.5km further along is the village of Proven, a further 500m and the cemetery is on the left hand side of the road, which is now called Roesbruggestraat.
Further Information: The cemetery is accessed by a 200m gravel track, which is suitable for vehicles, therefore access and parking are easy.
Mendinghem is one of the trio of cemeteries given names by the troops to recognise the work of the Casualty Clearing Stations stationed there, (Bandaghem and Dozinghem were the other two). In July 1916 the 46th Casualty Clearing Station was opened at Proven and this site was chosen for its cemetery. Burials first took place in August 1916. In July 1917, four further clearing stations arrived in 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 during the German Spring Offensive, field ambulances were again posted at Proven. The cemetery was closed in September 1918 although there was one further burial added later.
The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield
Victoria Cross: Lieutenant Colonel, Bertram Best-Dunkley, VC, commanding 2nd/5th Lancashire Fusiliers Plot 3. D. 1, he died of wounds on 05/08/1917, aged 27
Citation: An extract from the London Gazette No. 30272, dated 4th Sept., 1917, records the following. "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.
Shot at Dawn: Private J. J. Hyde, King's Royal Rifle Corps, executed for desertion, 05/09/1917, plot 5. A. 29.
Shot at Dawn: Private C. Britton, 1/5th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment executed for desertion, 12/09/1917, plot 7. F. 36.
Shot at Dawn: Private D. Gibson of 12th Bn. Royal Scots, executed for desertion, 24/9/1918, plot 10. E. 19.
The mass pardon of 306 British Empire soldiers executed for certain offences during the Great War was enacted in section 359 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, which came into effect on royal assent on 8 November 2006.
Casualty Details: UK 2300; Canada 31; Australia 15; New Zealand 12; South Africa 33; Germany 51; Total Burials: 2442