TYNE COT CEMETERY and the TYNE COT

 

 MEMORIAL

 

Zonnebeke

 

West-Vlaanderen

 

Belgium

   

 

Visit the Tyne Cot Memorial Page - Images of those buried or commemorated here

 

GENERAL DIRECTIONS: Take the Tourhoutstraat from the market square onto the small roundabout, go right here into Basculestraat, at the crossroads turn left onto Zonnebeekseweg, continue to the village of Zonnebeke, turn left at the roundabout in the direction of Passendale, after 0.5km turn left into Tynecotstraat which is well signed from the main road, follow this road around and the cemetery is on the right.

 

Access is easy, as is parking, especially now there is a dedicated parking area behind the cemetery, this in turn leads you to the visitors centre. From there it is a long walk down the length of the cemetery to the main entrance.

 

"Tyne Cot" or "Tyne Cottage" was the name given by the Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn which stood near to the level crossing on the Passchendaele-Broodseinde road. This barn was the centre of six German blockhouses and was captured by the 2nd Australian Division on 4th October 1917, during the advance on Passchendaele. One of these blockhouses was unusually large and was used as an advanced dressing station after its capture. From 6th October until the end of March 1918, 343 graves had been made on two sides of it, by the 50th (Northumbrian) and 33rd Divisions, as well as two Canadian units. The cemetery fell into German hands in April 1918, before being recaptured along with the village of Passchendaele, by the Belgian army on 28th September.

The Cross of Sacrifice, built upon the original German blockhouse

 

The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the armistice, when burials were brought in from the battlefields surrounding Passchendaele and Langemarck, and from a few small burial grounds.

 

This cemetery is now the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world, in terms of burials. At the suggestion of King George V, who visited the cemetery in 1922, the Cross of Sacrifice was placed on top of the original large blockhouse which helped give the cemetery its name.

 

At the rear of the cemetery is the Tyne Cot Memorial, it commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the UK and New Zealand who fought in the Ypres Salient after 16th August 1917, and whose graves are not known.

This memorial stands close to the farthest point in Belgium reached by Commonwealth forces, until the final advance to victory.

 

Aerial view of the cemetery and memorial

 

The Tyne Cot Memorial

 

 

 

 

VICTORIA CROSS:

 

Tyne Cot Cemetery

 

Captain Clarence Smith Jeffries

VC, of the 34th Battalion Australian Infantry, killed in action on 12/10/1917 aged 23.Plot XL. E 1.,Son of Joshua and Barbara Jeffries, of Abermain, New South Wales. Native of Wallsend, New South Wales.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 30433, dated 18th Dec., 1917, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when his company was held up by enemy machine-gun fire from concrete emplacements. Organising a party, he rushed one emplacement, capturing four machine guns and thirty-five prisoners. He then led his company forward under extremely heavy enemy artillery barrage and enfilade machine-gun fire to the objective. Later, he again organised a successful attack on a machine-gun emplacement, capturing two machine guns and thirty more prisoners. This gallant officer was killed during the attack, but it was entirely due to his bravery and initiative that the centre of the attack was not held up for a lengthy period. His example had a most inspiring influence."

 

 

Sergeant Lewis McGee

VC, 40th Battalion Australian Infantry, killed in action 12/10/1917, aged 29. Plot XX. D 1., Son of John and Mary McGee, of Ross, Tasmania; husband of Eileen Rose McGee, of Avoca, Tasmania.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette" No. 30400, dated 23rd Nov., 1917, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery when, in the advance to the final objective, Serjt. McGee led his platoon with great dash and bravery, though strongly opposed, and under heavy shell fire. His platoon was suffering severely and the advance of the Company was stopped by machine gun fire from a ' Pill-box ' post. Single-handed Serjt. McGee rushed the post armed only with a revolver. He shot some of the crew and captured the rest, and thus enabled the advance to proceed. He re-organised the remnants of his platoon and was foremost in the remainder of the advance, and during consolidation of the position he did splendid work. This Non-commissioned Officer's coolness and bravery were conspicuous and contributed largely to the success of the Company's operations. Serjt McGee was subsequently killed in action.

Private James Peter Robertson

VC, 27th (Manitoba) Battalion Canadian Infantry, killed in action 06/11/1917 aged 35. Plot LVIII. D. 26. Son of Alexander and Janet Robertson, of 656, 5th St., South East, Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette" No. 30471, dated 8th Jan., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and outstanding devotion to duty in attack. When his platoon was held up by uncut wire and a machine gun causing many casualties, Pte. Robertson dashed to an opening on the flank, rushed the machine gun and, after a desperate struggle with the crew, killed four and then turned the gun on the remainder, who, overcome by the fierceness of his onslaught, were running towards their own lines. His gallant work enabled the platoon to advance. He inflicted many more casualties among the enemy, and then carrying the captured machine gun, he led his platoon to the final objective. He there selected an excellent position and got the gun into action, firing on the retreating enemy who by this time were quite demoralised by the fire brought to bear on them. During the consolidation Pte. Robertson's most determined use of the machine gun kept down the fire of the enemy snipers; his courage and his coolness cheered his comrades and inspired them to the finest efforts. Later, when two of our snipers were badly wounded in front of our trench, he went out and carried one of them in under very severe fire. He was killed just as he returned with the second man."

Tyne Cot Memorial

 

PHILIP ERIC BENT

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, Date of Death: 01/10/1917, Age: 26, Regiment/Service: Leicestershire Regiment 9th Bn. , Awards: V C, D S O, Panel Reference Panel 50 to 51., Native of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 30471, dated 11th Jan., 1918, records the following:- For most conspicuous bravery, when during a heavy hostile attack, the right of his own command and the battalion on his right were forced back. The situation was critical owing to the confusion caused by the attack and the intense artillery fire. Lt. Col. Bent personally collected a platoon that was in reserve, and together with men from other companies and various regimental details, he organised and led them forward to the counter-attack, after issuing orders to other officers as to the further defence of the line. The counter-attack was successful and the enemy were checked. The coolness and magnificent example shown to all ranks by Lt.-Col. Bent resulted in the securing of a portion of the line which was of essential importance for subsequent operations. This very gallant officer was killed whilst leading a charge which he inspired with the call of "Come on the Tigers."

WILLIAM CLAMP

Rank: Corporal, Service No: 42537, Date of Death: 09/10/1917, Age: 26, Regiment/Service: Yorkshire Regiment 6th Bn., Awards: V C, Panel Reference Panel 52 to 54 and 162A., Son of Charles and Christina Dundas Clamp, of 13C, Reid Terrace, Flemington, Motherwell.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 30433, dated 18th Dec., 1917, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery when an advance was being checked by intense machine-gun fire from concrete blockhouses and by snipers in ruined buildings. Corporal Clamp dashed forward with two men and attempted to rush the largest blockhouse. His first attempt failed owing to the two men with him being knocked out, but he at once collected some bombs, and calling upon two men to follow him, again dashed forward. He was first to reach the blockhouse and hurled in bombs, killing many of the occupants. He then entered and brought out a machine-gun and about twenty prisoners, whom he brought back under heavy fire from neighbouring snipers. This non-commissioned officer then again went forward encouraging and cheering the men, and succeeded in rushing several snipers' posts. He continued to display the greatest heroism until he was killed by a sniper. His magnificent courage and self-sacrifice was of the greatest value and relieved what was undoubtedly a very critical situation.

ERNEST SEAMAN

Rank: Lance Corporal, Service No: 42364, Date of Death: 29/09/1918, Age: 25, Regiment/Service: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 2nd Bn. , Awards: V C, M M, Panel Reference Panel 70 to 72., Son of Mrs. Sarah Seaman. Born at Norwich, Norfolk.

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No.31012, dated 15th Nov., 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. When the right flank of his company was held up by a nest of enemy machine guns, he, with great courage and initiative, rushed forward under heavy fire with his Lewis gun and engaged the position single-handed, capturing two machine guns and twelve prisoners and killing one officer and two men. Later in the day he again rushed another enemy machine-gun position, capturing the gun under heavy fire. He was killed immediately after. His courage and dash were beyond all praise, and it was entirely due to the very gallant conduct of Lce. Cpl. Seaman that his company was enabled to push forward to its objective and capture many prisoners."

 

 

More views of this cemetery

 

CASUALTY DETAILS:

 

UK 8962

Canada 1011

Australia 1369

New Zealand 520

South Africa 90

Germany 4

Total Burials: 11956

 

 

 

The images below are from the 1920's - there are more on the next page

 

 

 

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