AEROPLANE CEMETERY

 

Ieper

 

West-Vlaanderen

 

Belgium

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Shot at Dawn

 

8164 Private Bert Hartells, 3rd Bn. Worcestershire Regiment, executed for desertion 26/07/1915, aged 32. Plot II. A. 6.

 

7377 Private John Robinson, 3rd Bn. Worcestershire Regiment, executed for desertion 26/07/1915, aged 31. Plot II. A. 7. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Robinson, of No. 1 Back, 120, Long Acre, Nechells, Birmingham.

 

7625 Private Alfred Thompson, 3rd Bn. Worcestershire Regiment, executed for desertion 26/07/1915, aged 25. Plot II. A. 8. Son of Mrs. Martha Thompson, of 2 Bk, 24 Florence St., Holloway Head, Birmingham.

 

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.

 

Aeroplane Cemetery is located 3.5 kilometres north east of Ieper town centre on the Zonnebeekseweg (N332), a road connecting Ieper to Zonnebeke. Two roads connect Ieper town centre onto the Zonnebeekseweg; the Torhoutstraat leads from the market square onto a small roundabout. At the roundabout the first right turn is Basculestraat. At the end of Basculestraat there is a crossroads and Zonnebeekseweg is the turning to the left. The cemetery itself lies 3 kilometres along the Zonnebeekseweg on the right hand side of the road, shortly after a French cemetery.

From October 1914 to the summer of 1918, Ypres (now Ieper) was the centre of a salient held by Commonwealth (and for some months also by French) forces.

The site of the cemetery was in No Man's Land before 31 July 1917 when the 15th (Scottish) Division, with the 55th (West Lancashire) Division on their left, took nearby Verlorenhoek and Frezenberg. The cemetery was begun the following month (under the name of the New Cemetery, Frezenberg) by the 15th and the 16th (Irish) Divisions, but by October it had acquired its present name from the wreck of an aeroplane which lay near the present position of the Cross of Sacrifice. It was used by fighting units until March 1918, and again, after a period of occupation by the Germans, in September 1918. Plots II to VIII, and part of Plot I, were formed after the Armistice when graves were brought in from small burial grounds and the surrounding battlefields.

The only considerable burial grounds concentrated into Aeroplane Cemetery were the following:

BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY (ENCLOSURE No. 5), ZILLEBEKE, a little East of the Ypres-Wytschaete Road. This enclosure, which was separate from the others now forming Bedford House Cemetery, contained the graves of 14 men of the 1st Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and six of the 1st Devons who fell in April, 1915.

LOCK 8 CEMETERY, VOORMEZEELE, in a field about 200 metres North of Lock 8 on the Ypres-Comines Canal. It contained the graves of 19 soldiers from the United Kingdom and two from Australia and two German prisoners, who fell in July-September, 1917.

There are now 1,105 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 636 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate eight casualties known or believed to be buried among them.

The cemetery was designed by
Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Casualty Details: UK 831; Canada 48; Australia 208; New Zealand 17; South Africa 1; Total burials 1105

 

 

     

5121 Private

Augustus Hendrickes

1st Bn. Australian Infantry

A. I. F.

04/10/1917, aged 33.

Son of Alfred and Kate Hendrickes; husband of Martha Hendrickes, of Gray St., Woonona, New South Wales. Native of Sydney.

Plot IV. A. 3.

 

Picture courtesy of Granddaughter, Patricia Brown

 

 

241165 Lance Corporal

Hubert Cooper

1st/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment

10/09/1917, aged 20.

Son of Thomas and Mary Jane Cooper, of 8, Victoria Terrace, Stoneyholme, Burnley.

Plot II. B. 10.

An office worker with Parkinson's Chemists in Burnley prior to enlisting.

 

 

Plan courtesy of Barry Cuttell