GENERAL DIRECTIONS: Poperinghe Old Military Cemetery is located 10.5 Kms west of Ieper town centre, in the town of Poperinge itself.
From Ieper, Poperinge is reached via N308. 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 town of Poperinge the left hand turning from the N308 leads onto the R33 Poperinge ring road. 1 Km along the N33 lies the right hand turning onto Deken De Bolan. The cemetery is located 200 metres from the ring road level with the junction with Polenlaan, on the right hand side of the road.
The town of Poperinghe (now Poperinge) was of great importance during the First World War because, although occasionally bombed or bombarded at long range, it was the nearest place to Ypres (now Ieper) which was both considerable in size and reasonably safe. It was at first a centre for Casualty Clearing Stations, but by 1916 it became necessary to move these units further back and field ambulances took their places.
The earliest Commonwealth graves in the town are in the communal cemetery, which was used from October 1914 to March 1915. The Old Military Cemetery was made in the course of the First Battle of Ypres and was closed, so far as Commonwealth burials are concerned, at the beginning of May 1915. The New Military Cemetery was established in June 1915.
The Old Military Cemetery contains 450 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 24 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to seven casualties known or believed to be buried among them.
The graves of about 800 French and Belgian soldiers and nearly 500 civilians were removed from the cemetery after the Armistice. For the most part, the civilians died in an epidemic of typhoid at the end of 1914, and were buried from an emergency hospital housed in a neighbouring chateau.
The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.
Shot at Dawn: Coolie C. C. Wang, Chinese Labour Corps, executed for murder, 08/05/1919, Plot II. O. 54.
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 403; Canada 48; Germany 2; Total Burials: 453
The Market Square, Poperinghe, 10 May, 1918.
© IWM (Q 10303)
TOC H was a rest centre for British soldiers of all ranks stationed in the Ypres sector in Flanders. It was the idea of a young army chaplain, the Reverend ‘Tubby’ Clayton, who established the centre in ‘Talbot House’ [TOC H in Army telephone jargon] in the Belgian town of Poperinge. Talbot House offered British troops a respite from the Front and an opportunity to develop and examine their understanding of the Christian faith. After the war former soldiers from Talbot House continued the work of TOC H as a civilian charity, establishing hostels and local branches to promote the Christian faith through community orientated work programmes. The work of TOC H continues to this day as an international Christian organisation involved in various charitable and social projects.
© IWM (Art.IWM PST 10992)
Frederick George Tiller
1st Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment
11/11/1914, aged 32.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Tiller, of Croydon, Royston, Herts; husband of Riba Tiller, of Long Stowe, Cambridge.
Plot I. M. 70.
Picture courtesy of grandson, John Tiller