COXYDE MILITARY CEMETERY
Coxyde Military Cemetery is located approximately 500 metres beyond the village of Koksijde on the N396 towards De Panne. From Koksijde Dorp the N396, Houtsaegerlaan crosses the Zeelaan and at the same time changes its name to Robert Vandammestraat. 1 kilometre along the Robert Vandammestraat N369, on the right hand side, lies the cemetery.
In June 1917, Commonwealth forces relieved French forces on 6 kilometres of front line from the sea to a point south of Nieuport (now Nieuwpoort), and held this sector for six months.
Coxyde (now Koksijde) was about 10 kilometres behind the front line. The village was used for rest billets and was occasionally shelled, but the cemetery, which had been started by French troops, was found to be reasonably safe. It became the most important of the Commonwealth cemeteries on the Belgian coast and was used at night for the burial of the dead brought back from the front line.
The French returned to the sector in December 1917 and continued to use the cemetery, and during 1918, Commonwealth naval casualties from bases in Dunkirk (now Dunkerque) were buried there. After the Armistice, the remains of 44 British soldiers were brought into the cemetery. Ten of them had been buried in isolated graves. Nineteen came from Furnes Road British Cemetery, Coxyde, a cemetery made in July, 1917, by the 2nd Manchesters and the 49th (West Riding) Division on the East side of the road to Furnes (now Veurne). Twenty-five (of whom 22 belonged to the 49th Division) came from Oosthoek Military Cemetery, Adinkerke, 4 Kms South-West of Coxyde.
The cemetery was used again during the Second World War, chiefly for the burial of casualties sustained during the defence of the Dunkirk-Nieuport perimeter in May 1940.
The cemetery now contains 1,507 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the French graves from this period having since been removed. Of the 155 Second World War burials, 22 are unidentified.
The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Casualty Details: UK 1453; Canada 15; Australia 18; New Zealand 19; South Africa 2; Germany 10; Total Burials: 1517
Claude Leopold Bourchier
36th Australian Heavy Artillery
11/07/1917, aged 23.
Son of Charles Leslie and Mary Catherine Bourchier, of Southern St., Oatley, New South Wales. Of Narromine, New South Wales.
Plot I. G. 17.
410000 Flight Sergeant Navigator
John Granville King
166 (R.A.F.) Sqdn.
Royal Australian Air Force
19/03/1944, aged 20.
Son of John Thorpe King and Lotty King, of Croydon, Victoria, Australia.
Plot V. F. 7.
Ralph Dorchell Doughty MC.
3rd A. F. A. Brigade,
Australian Field Artillery
25/07/1917, aged 26.
Son of William Mamby Doughty, and the late Susanna Doughty, of Stratford, New Zealand.
Plot I. F. 20.
Picture courtesy of Peter Kivell, great, great nephew.
Shot at Dawn
2064 Private, William Wycherley. 2nd Bn. Manchester Regiment, 12/09/17, aged 24. Husband of May Wycherley, of 18, Queen St., Cheetham Hill, Manchester.Plot III . G. 6. - Desertion.
R/24441 Rifleman, Frank William Cheeseman. 18th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps, 20/10/17, aged 29. Husband of Rebecca Cheeseman, of 84, Dale Rd., Canning Town, London. Native of Redhill, Surrey. Plot IV. G. 23. - Desertion.
94236 Sapper, Arthur Philip Oyns. 50th Search Light Company, Royal Engineers, 20/10/1917, aged 31. Born at Devonport. Son of the late Richard Philip Oyns (H.M. Customs) and Julia Isabel Oyns. Plot IV. G. 24. - Murder.
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.
282553 Lance Corporal
2nd/7th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
28/07/1917, aged 22.
Son of George William and Sarah Emma Astin, of 31, Albert St., Burnley.
Plot II. A. 17.
Enlisted 7th September 1914, prior to that he worked as a weaver at Messrs. Thornber's, Daneshouse Mill, Burnley.
32nd Light Railway Operating Coy.
13/10/1917, aged 34.
Son of Mary Doyle, of 8, Metcalfe St., Rose Grove, Burnley, and the late John Doyle. Native of Lowerhouse, Burnley.
Prior to enlisting he worked as a shunter employed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company at Rosegrove sheds, Burnley.
Plot IV. F. 14.
"B" Bty. 330th Bde. Royal Field Artillery
22/07/1917, aged 19.
Son of Fred and Annie Elizabeth Bridge, of 321, Waterloo Rd., Blackpool. Previously Dinglewood Terrace, 142 Coal Clough Lane, Burnley. Harry was a native of Burnley and enlisted aged 17. Prior to this he worked as a clerk in the Burnley Corporation Gas Works.
Plot I. F. 30.
Mr T. H. Hartley, headmaster of Harry's former school wrote to his mother;
"We have many happy memories of Harry's presence here, and your loss is deeply felt amongst us all."
1st/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
28/10/1917, aged 29.
Son of the late Job and Frances Hilton, of 2, Hallows St., Burnley; husband of Mary Ellen Hilton, of 96, McGowan St., Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Plot IV. J. 13.
Prior to enlisting he worked as a chauffeur in his home town.
A letter his wife received from the Army chaplain, C. B. Greave said;
"Your husband was unfortunately hit by a bit of shell in a vital part, and died instantly. We laid him to rest - carried by his friends - in a military cemetery."
"A" Bty. 330th Bde. Royal Field Artillery
24/07/1917, aged 20.
Son of James and Mary Bonnell, of 31, Howsin St., Burnley.
Plot I. F. 20.
Prior to enlisting he was a weaver at Stuttard's Byerden Mill, Burnley.
11th Bn. Border Regiment
30/09/1917, aged 27.
Son of Mrs. Isabella Clough, of 25, Crowther St., Burnley, Lancs.
Plot IV. D. 12.
Hugh Kington Llewellyn Statham
3rd Bn. attd. 1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
06/09/1917, aged 31.
Son of the Rev. P. and Meta Statham (nee Llewellyn), of England; husband of Margaret Renee Statham, of Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, British Columbia.
Plot III. F. 10.
Picture courtesy of grandson, D.J. Freethy