The inscription on the memorial:
To the glory of god and to the memory of 11447 Officers and men of the forces of the British Empire, who fell fighting in the years 1914-1918 between the River Douve and the towns of Estaires and Furnes, whose names are here recorded but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.
View through the Memorial towards Hyde Park Corner Cemetery
One of the lions which stand guard at the memorial this one is baring its teeth, the second lion is more placid
View of one of the panels of the memorial inscribed with the name of the battles those commemorated fought in, this view shows "Fromelles 1916".
Names inscribed on the memorial
|The Panel Numbers quoted at the end of each entry relate to the panels
dedicated to the Regiment served with. In some instances where a casualty is
recorded as attached to another Regiment, his name may alternatively appear
within their Regimental Panels. Please refer to the on-site Memorial Register
Introduction to determine the alternative panel numbers if you do not find the
name within the quoted Panels.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS: The Ploegsteert Memorial stands in Berks Cemetery Extension, which is located 12.5 kilometres south of Ieper town centre, on the N365 leading from Ieper to Mesen (Messines), Ploegsteert and on to Armentieres. From Ieper town centre the Rijselsestraat runs from the market square, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and directly over the crossroads with the Ieper ring road. The road name then changes to the Rijselseweg (N336). 3.5 kilometres along the N336 lies a fork junction with the N365. The N365, which forms the right hand fork, leads to the town of Mesen. The Cemetery lies 3 kilometres beyond Mesen on the right hand side of the N365, and opposite Hyde Park Corner Royal Berks Cemetery. The sounding of the Last Post takes place at the Ploegsteert Memorial on the first Friday of every month at 7 p.m.
The Ploegsteert Memorial commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave. The memorial serves the area from the line Caestre-Dranoutre-Warneton to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes to the south, including the towns of Hazebrouck, Merville, Bailleul and Armentieres, the Forest of Nieppe, and Ploegsteert Wood. The original intention had been to erect the memorial in Lille. Those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere. Berks Cemetery Extension, in which the memorial stands, was begun in June 1916 and used continuously until September 1917.
At the Armistice, the extension comprised Plot I only, but Plots II and III were added in 1930 when graves were brought in from Rosenberg Chateau Military Cemetery and Extension, about 1 kilometre to the north-west, when it was established that these sites could not be acquired in perpetuity. Rosenberg Chateau Military Cemetery was used by fighting units from November 1914 to August 1916. The extension was begun in May 1916 and used until March 1918. Together, the Rosenberg Chateau cemetery and extension were sometimes referred to as 'Red Lodge'. Berks Cemetery Extension now contains 876 First World War burials. Hyde Park Corner Royal Berks Cemetery is separated from Berks Cemetery Extension by a road. It was begun in April 1915 by the 1st/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment and was used at intervals until November 1917. Hyde Park Corner was a road junction to the north of Ploegsteert Wood. Hill 63 was to the north-west and nearby were the 'Catacombs', deep shelters capable of holding two battalions, which were used from November 1916 onwards. The cemetery contains 83 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and four German war graves.
The cemetery, cemetery extension and memorial were designed by Harold Charlton Bradshaw, with sculpture by Gilbert Ledward.
Number of identified casualties: 11367
Victoria Cross: 136414 Sapper William Hackett, VC. 254th Tunnelling Coy. Royal Engineers. 27/06/1916, aged 43. Panel 1. Son of the late John and Harriet Hackett, of Nottingham; husband of Alice Flinders (formerly Hackett), of 53, Cross Gate, Mexborough, Rotherham.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 4th Aug., 1916, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery when entombed with four others in a gallery owing to the explosion of an enemy mine. After working for 20 hours, a hole was made through fallen earth and broken timber, and the outside party was met. Sapper Hackett helped three of the men through the hole and could easily have followed, but refused to leave the fourth, who had been seriously injured, saying," I am a tunneller, I must look after the others first." Meantime, the hole was getting smaller, yet he still refused to leave his injured comrade. Finally, the gallery collapsed, and though the rescue party worked desperately for four days the attempt to reach the two men failed. Sapper Hackett well knowing the nature of sliding earth, the chances against him, deliberately gave his life for his comrade".
Victoria Cross: 8185 Private James Mackenzie, VC. 2nd Bn. Scots Guards. 19/12/1914, aged 27. Panel 1. Son of Mrs. Marion Mackenzie, of 22, Terregles St., Maxwelltown, Dumfries.
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 16th Feb., 1915, records the following:-"For conspicuous bravery at Rouges Bancs on the 19th Dec., in rescuing a severely wounded man from in front of the German trenches, under a very heavy fire and after a stretcher-bearer party had been compelled to abandon the attempt. Private Mackenzie was subsequently killed on that day whilst in the performance of a similar act of gallant conduct."
Shot at Dawn: 8278 Private Archibald Browne, 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment, executed for desertion 19/12/1914, aged 26. Panel 7. Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Browne, of Greene St., Ingatestone, Essex.
Shot at Dawn: 8747 Private Albert Henry Pitts, 2nd Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment, executed for desertion 08/02/1915. Panel 2 and 3. Husband of Mrs. A.L. Pitts, of 44, King Road, Bengeworth, Evesham.
Shot at Dawn: 9689 Private Thomas Hope, 2nd Bn. Leinster Regiment, executed for desertion 02/03/1915. Panel 10. Son of Mrs B. Hope, of 5, Mill Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
2nd Bn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.
Killed in action 21/10/1914.
Panel 9 and 10
Image courtesy of Joe O'Raw and William Kilgour
2nd Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).
Killed in action 09/05/1915.
Image Courtesy of Joe O' Raw and William Kilgour
William Augustus Hursey
2nd Bn. The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
18/01/1915, aged 17.
Son of Ellen Sophia Hursey, of "Northville," Court Rd., Caterham, Surrey, and the late James Edward Hursey.
Panel 1 and 2
1st Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment
Picture courtesy of Gerard Finn
Picture and cutting courtesy of Peter Rufus
Captain Thomas Rufus, MC
"A Coy" 11th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
Killed in action 14/04/1918, aged 28.
Son of Frederick and Eliza Rufus, of The Willows, Goostrey, Cheshire.
Joseph Edgar Devine
4th Bn. The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
19/04/1918, aged 40.
Son of the late Joseph and Jenny Devine; husband of Mary Elizabeth Devine, of 27, Ashwood Avenue, Gorton, Manchester.
Picture courtesy of Shirley Peacock, granddaughter of this soldier
10461 Lance Corporal
2nd Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
21/10/1914, aged 20.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Gilmore, of 66, Stanhope St., Belfast.
Picture courtesy of Gareth MacAllister, James Gilmore was his grandmother's brother
2nd Bn. Argyll & Sutherland
21/10/1914, aged 34.
Son of John and Jane McLean, of Kelvinhaugh St., Glasgow; husband of Nellie McLean, of 31, Sleigh Drive, Lochend, Edinburgh.
Panel 9 and 10.
Corporal Donald McLean  2nd Bn Argyll and
Sutherland Highlanders, of Rothesay, Isle of Bute officially notified as
“missing”. Shortly after entering the fighting line in France he was
promoted from Lance-Corporal to Corporal for an act of bravery in going to
the assistance of Lieut. Stirling in the retirement from Cateau, and thereby
saving the officer’s life. McLean performed the gallant act at considerable
risk to himself. It is hoped that McLean, who has been 12 years in the army
and took part in the South African war, is still unharmed and may have
become separated for a time from his regiment.' Buteman & West Coast
Picture courtesy of granddaughter, Sheila McLean
William Henry Hall
1st/5th Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers
10/04/1918, aged 19.
Son of Herbert and Florence Hall, of 137, Skinnerthorpe Rd., Pitsmoor, Sheffield.
Picture courtesy of Kerry Stanley
2nd Bn. Durham Light Infantry
28/10/1914, aged 21.
Husband of Daisy Revely, of 379, Main Rd., Glascote, Tamworth.
Panel 8 and 9.
Picture courtesy of Jackie Newman, great granddaughter
2nd/10th Bn. Liverpool Scottish
24/08/1917, aged 26.
Father of George and Dorothy Leah, one of 4 brothers, he is pictured above with the only brother to survive the war, Ernest (left)
Picture courtesy of Lance Smallshaw
Jesse Reuben Mitchell
2nd Bn. Royal Berkshire Regiment
09/05/1915, aged 24.
Panels 7 and 8
Son of Reuben and Mary Mitchell, of I, London Rd., Wokingham.
Picture courtesy of great niece, Ros Pottinger
2nd Bn. King's Own Scottish Borderers
Formerly 2308 H. C. (Highland Cyclists) Bn.
Born Perth, Scotland.
Husband to Christina Brown Henderson, father to Edna.
Picture courtesy of grandson, Graham McLaren
Charles Henry Gwilliam
1st Bn King's Shropshire Light Infantry
02/01/1915, aged 21.
He was the son of Samuel & Emily Gwilliam, of Bishopstone, Bridge Sollars. Hereford, Herefordshire.
Picture courtesy of Phil Turner
183rd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers
Picture courtesy of grandson, Vic Webber
2nd Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment
19/12/1914, aged 43.
Panels 2 and 3.
Husband of Nellie Hughes (formerly Sanders), of 2, Back, 65, Great Russell St., Birmingham.
Pictures courtesy of Great Granddaughter Margaret Anne Clewley on behalf of Grandson Derek James Clewley.
Oscar Reginald Hazell, MM
11th Bn. Suffolk Regiment
Between 09/04 - 19/04/1918, aged 22.
We believe he died during the Lys Offensive, holding
the right flank between
Picture courtesy of Chris Hazell, great nephew
1st Bn. East Yorkshire Regiment
20/10/1914, aged 31.
Husband of Florence Chapman of 23 Summer Lane, Barnsley, he also left two daughters Lorna Chapman aged 2 years and Vera Chapman who was just 12 months.
Picture courtesy of granddaughter Brenda Thurling, who regrettably never knew him
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