ZANTVOORDE BRITISH CEMETERY

 

Zonnebeke

 

West-Vlaanderen

 

Belgium

 

General Directions: Zandvoorde British Cemetery is located 8 Kms south-east of Ieper town centre, on the Kruisekestraat 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 cross roads, directly over which begins the Meenseweg. 7.5 Kms along the Meenseweg in the village of Geluveld lies the right hand turning onto Zandvoordestraat. At the end of the Zandvoordestraat is the left hand turning onto Kriusekestraat. The cemetery itself is located 100 metres along the Kruisekestraat on the left hand side of the road.

 

On 30 October 1914, the village of Zantvoorde (now Zandvoorde) was held by the 1st and 2nd Life Guards, numbering between 300 and 400 men. It was bombarded for over an hour with heavy guns and then taken by the 39th German Division and three attached battalions. The whole front of the 3rd Cavalry Division was driven back to the Klein-Zillebeke ridge. The village could not be retaken and remained in German hands until 28 September 1918. The Household Brigade Memorial, unveiled by Lord Haig in May 1924, stands on the South side of the village at the place where part of the Brigade was annihilated in 1914. Zantvoorde British Cemetery was made after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields and nearby German cemeteries. Many were those of soldiers who died in the desperate fighting round Zantvoorde, Zillebeke and Gheluvelt in the latter part of October 1914. There are now 1,583 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 1,135 of the burials are unidentified. Special memorials commemorate 32 soldiers buried in two of the German cemeteries whose graves could not be found on concentration. The cemetery also contains one Second World War burial. The cemetery was designed by Charles Holden.

 

Victoria Cross: Captain James Anson Otho Brooke, VC,  2nd Bn. Gordon Highlanders, killed in action 29/10/1914, aged 30. Plot VI. E. 2. Son of Sir Harry Vesey Brooke, K.B.E., and Lady Brooke, of Fairley, Countesswells, Aberdeenshire. Awarded the Sword of Honour at Sandhurst.

 

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 16th Feb., 1915, records the following:-"For conspicuous bravery and great ability near Gheluvelt on the 29th October, in leading two attacks on the German trenches under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, regaining a lost trench at a very critical moment. He was killed on that day. By his marked coolness and promptitude on this occasion Lieutenant Brooke prevented the enemy from breaking through our line, at a time when a general counter-attack could not have been organised."

 

Victoria Cross: 240693 Serjeant Louis McGuffie, VC. 1st/5th Bn. King's Own Scottish Borderers. 04/10/1918, aged 24. Plot I. D. 12. Son of Mrs. Catherine McGuffie, of 1, North Main St., Wigtown, Wigtownshire.

 

Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 13th Dec., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and resourceful leadership under heavy fire near Wytschaete on 28th September, 1918. During the advance to Piccadilly Farm, he, single-handed, entered several enemy dugouts and took many prisoners, and during subsequent operations dealt similarly with dugout after dugout, forcing one officer and twenty-five other ranks to surrender. During the consolidation of the first objective he pursued and brought back several of the enemy who were slipping away, and he was also instrumental in rescuing some British soldiers who were being led off as prisoners. Later in the day, when in command of a platoon, he led it with the utmost dash and resource, capturing many prisoners. This very gallant soldier was subsequently killed by a shell.

 

Casualty Details: UK 1558; Canada 22; Australia 2; India 1; Total Burials: 1583

 

 

 

 

 

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Special Memorial to those originally buried in Kruiseecke German Cemetery and Wervico Road German Cemeteries, Comines and whose graves are now lost

 

The cemetery in the early 1920's.

 

 

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