Larch Wood Cemetery is located 4 Kms south-east of Ieper town centre, on
the Komenseweg, connecting Ieper to Komen (N366). From Ieper town centre the
Komenseweg is located via the Rijselsestraat, through the Rijselpoort (Lille
Gate) and crossing the Ieper ring road, towards Armentieres and Lille. The
road name then changes to Rijselseweg. 1 Km along the Rijselseweg lies the
left hand turning onto Komenseweg. 2.7 Kms along the Komenseweg lies the
left hand turning onto Larch Wood Cemetery. The cemetery itself is located
400 metres along a rough single tracked road which leads to an ungated
railway crossing, immediately adjacent to the site.
The cemetery was begun in April 1915 at the North-end of a small
plantation of larches. It was used by troops holding this sector,
particularly the 46th (North Midland) Division and the 1st Dorsets, until
April 1918. It was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in
from the battlefields of Ypres and from the following smaller cemeteries:-
AMERICA CROSS ROADS GERMAN CEMETERY, WERVICQ, (named from a cabaret
between Wervicq and Kruiseecke) contained the graves of five soldiers from
the United Kingdom who fell in October, 1914.
BRUGES GENERAL CEMETERY, ST. MICHEL, contained the graves of 32 soldiers and
airmen from the United Kingdom and one Canadian merchant seaman.
CORTEMARCK GERMAN CEMETERY, No.1, a little North-West of the village,
contained the grave of two R.F.C. officers.
EERNEGHEM GERMAN CEMETERY, a little East of Eerneghem, that of one R.A.F.
GHISTELLES CHURCHYARD contained the graves of two British soldiers who fell
in July, 1917. There was a German aerodrome at Ghistelles, and the Germans
used a plot in the Churchyard for war burials.
GROENENBERG GERMAN CEMETERY, ZANTVOORDE (on the South side of "Shrewsbury
Forest"), contained the graves of four soldiers from the United Kingdom who
fell in February, 1915,
HANDZAEME GERMAN CEMETERY (on the North side of the village) those of two
Canadian soldiers who fell in May, 1915, and
ICHTEGHEM GERMAN CEMETERY (a little West of Ichteghem) those of two unknown
LEFFINGHE GERMAN CEMETERY (on the North side of the village) contained the
graves of one R.F.C. officer who fell in July, 1917, and three unknown
soldiers from the United Kingdom; and
MARCKHOVE GERMAN CEMETERY, CORTEMARCK, those of ten soldiers and airmen from
the United Kingdom who fell in 1918.
OUDENBURG CHURCHYARD contained the graves of two soldiers from the United
Kingdom who fell in 1917, and TENBRIELEN COMMUNAL CEMETERY GERMAN EXTENSION
those of six who fell in 1914.
THOUROUT GERMAN CEMETERY No.2 (on the road to Jabbeke, beyond the railway
line), contained the graves of seven soldiers and airmen from the United
Kingdom and one from Canada; VLADSLOO GERMAN CEMETERY (near the Church)
those of two R.F.C. officers who fell in 1917; and WARNETON SUD-ET-BAS
GERMAN CEMETERY those of two unknown British soldiers who fell in 1918.
WERVICQ COMMUNAL CEMETERY and its EXTENSIONS (on the Belgian side of the Lys)
contained the graves of 62 soldiers from the United Kingdom and six from
WIJNENDAELE GERMAN CEMETERY, THOUROUT, contained the graves of two flying
officers from the United Kingdom and one from Canada; and ZANTVOORDE GERMAN
CEMETERY (called also De Voorstraat No.49) those of eleven soldiers from the
United Kingdom who fell in 1914.
The cemetery contains 856 burials and commemorations of the First
World War. 321 of the burials are unidentified and there are special
memorials to 82 casualties known or believed to be buried in the cemetery.
Other special memorials record the names of five casualties buried in German
cemeteries whose graves could not be found on concentration.
The cemetery was designed by Sir
Edwin Lutyens & William
The cemetery was named after a wood
which stood nearby before the war. It was one of the few in the area not to
be re-planted after the armistice and no trace remains.
DETAILS: UK 701; Canada 86; Australia 36; Entirely Unidentified 33;
Total Burials: 856
James Hartley Bannister
11th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment
10/10/1917, aged 35.
Son of William and Sarah Bannister, of Nelson; husband of Charlotte May
Bannister, of 13, Wickliffe St., Nelson, Lancs.
Plot V. A. 21.
The following is a verse published by the family after James' death;
He sleeps beside his comrades,
In a hallowed grave unknown;
But his name is written in letters of love,
In the hearts he left at home.
May the heavenly winds blow softly
O'er that sweet and hallowed spot;
Though the sea divides his grave and us,
He will never be forgot.
"He gave his life, his best, his all."
"His duty nobly done."
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