RAILWAY DUGOUTS BURIAL GROUND


(Transport Farm)

 

Ieper

 

West-Vlaanderen

 

Belgium

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Lieutenant

George Clapperton

58th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment)

13/06/1916, aged 26.

Son of George and Joan Watt Clapperton, of 5, Bellevue St., Edinburgh, Scotland. Born at Galashiels, Selkirkshire, Scotland.

Valley Cottages Cem. Mem. A. 2.

 

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) is located 2 Kms south-east of Ieper town centre, on the Komenseweg, a road connecting Ieper to Komen (N336). From Ieper town centre the Komenseweg is located via the Rijselsestraat, through the Rijselpoort (Lille Gate) and crossing the Ieper ring road, towards Armentieres and Lille. The road name then changes to Rijselseweg. 1 Km along the Rijselseweg lies the left hand turning onto Komenseweg. The cemetery itself is located 1.2 Kms along the Komenseweg on the right hand side of the road.

 

The commune of Zillebeke contains many Commonwealth cemeteries as the front line trenches ran through it during the greater part of the First World War.

Railway Dugouts Cemetery is 2 Kms west of Zillebeke village, where the railway runs on an embankment overlooking a small farmstead, which was known to the troops as Transport Farm. The site of the cemetery was screened by slightly rising ground to the east, and burials began there in April 1915. They continued until the Armistice, especially in 1916 and 1917, when Advanced Dressing Stations were placed in the dugouts and the farm. They were made in small groups, without any definite arrangement; and in the summer of 1917 a considerable number were obliterated by shell fire before they could be marked. The names "Railway Dugouts" and "Transport Farm" were both used for the cemetery.

At the time of the Armistice, more than 1,700 graves in the cemetery were known and marked. Other graves were then brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries in the vicinity, and a number of the known graves destroyed by artillery fire were specially commemorated. The latter were mainly in the present Plots IV and VII.

The cemetery now contains 2,459 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 430 of the burials are unidentified and 261 casualties are represented by special memorials. Other special memorials record the names of 72 casualties buried in Valley Cottages and Transport Farm Annexe Cemeteries whose graves were destroyed in later fighting.

VALLEY COTTAGES CEMETERY, ZILLEBEKE, was among a group of cottages on "Observatory Road", which runs Eastward from Zillebeke village. It contained the graves of 111 soldiers from the United Kingdom and Canada. It was in an exposed position during the greater part of the war.

TRANSPORT FARM ANNEXE was about 100 metres South-East of the Railway Dugouts Cemetery, on the road to Verbrandenmolen. The graves in it were removed to Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Zillebeke; but one officer, whose grave could not found, is specially commemorated here.

The Cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens & John Reginald Truelove

 

Casualty Details: UK 1660; Canada 636; Australia 154; New Zealand 3; India 4;  Entirely Unidentified 2; Germany 4; Total Burials: 2463

 

 
     

 

Victoria Cross: Second Lieutenant Frederick Youens, VC, 13th Bn. Durham Light Infantry, died of wounds 07/07/1917 Aged 24. Plot I. O. 3., Son of Vincent and Lizzie Youens, of "Belgrave," 64, Desborough Park Rd., High Wycombe.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 31st July, 1917, records the following- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. While out on patrol this officer was wounded and had to return to his trenches to have his wounds dressed. Shortly afterwards a report came in that the enemy were preparing to raid our trenches. 2nd Lt. Youens, regardless of his wound, immediately set out to rally the team of a Lewis gun, which had become disorganised owing to heavy shell fire. During this process an enemy's bomb fell on the Lewis gun position without exploding. 2nd Lt. Youens immediately picked it up and hurled it over the parapet. Shortly afterwards another bomb fell near the same place; again 2nd Lt. Youens picked it up with the intention of throwing it away, when it exploded in his hand, severely wounding him and also some of his men. There is little doubt that the prompt and gallant action of 2nd Lt. Youens saved several of his men's lives and that by his energy and resource the enemy's raid was completely repulsed. This gallant officer has since succumbed to his wounds."

 

 

 

 

 

Captain

Francis Egmont Gane

43rd Bn. Canadian Infantry

(Manitoba Regiment)

13/05/1916, aged 31.

 Son of Francis Job and Belinda Gane, of The Willows, Normanby, Taranaki, New Zealand.

Plot IV. A. 3.

 

Picture courtesy of  Michael Broad, his wife is the great niece of this officer

 

 
 

 

 

 

5059 Rifleman

James Polston

18th Bn. London Regiment

(London Irish Rifles)

08/12/1916

Son of James and Elizabeth Polston of Lauriston Road, Hackney, London.

Plot VI. P. 12.

 

Picture courtesy of Betty Morley