YPRES RESERVOIR CEMETERY

 

Ieper

 

West-Vlaanderen

 

Belgium

 

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The cemetery is located to the North-West of Ieper. From the station turn left and drive along Fochlaan to the roundabout, turn right and go to the next roundabout. Here turn left into Haiglaan and continue for 300 metres and then turn right into Plumerlaan. The cemetery is on the right hand side, approximately 200 metres along the road.

From October 1914 to the autumn of 1918, Ypres (now Ieper) was at the centre of a salient held by Commonwealth (and for some months by French) forces. From April 1915, it was bombarded and destroyed more completely than any other town of its size on the Western Front, but even so certain buildings remained distinguishable. The ruins of the cathedral and the cloth hall stood together in the middle of the city, part of the infantry barracks stood in an angle of the south walls and the prison, reservoir and water tower were together at the western gate. Three cemeteries were made near the western gate: two between the prison and the reservoir, both now removed into the third, and the third on the north side of the prison. The third was called at first the "Cemetery North of the Prison," later "Ypres Reservoir North Cemetery, and now Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. This cemetery was begun in October 1915 and used by fighting units and field ambulances until after the Armistice, when it contained 1,099 graves. The cemetery was later enlarged when graves were brought in from the battlefields of the salient and the following smaller burial grounds:-

YPRES RESERVOIR SOUTH CEMETERY, between the prison and the reservoir (also called "Broadley's Cemetery" and "Prison Cemetery No.1"). It was used from October 1914 to October 1915, and contained the graves of 18 soldiers from the United Kingdom.

YPRES RESERVOIR MIDDLE CEMETERY, immediately North of the last named (also called "Prison Cemetery No.2" and "Middle Prison Cemetery"). It was used in August and September 1915, and rarely afterwards. It contained the graves of 107 soldiers from the United Kingdom (41 of whom belonged to the 6th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) and one Belgian soldier.

 The CEMETERY at the INFANTRY BARRACKS (also called "the Esplanade"). It was used from April 1915 to July 1916 and contained the graves of 14 soldiers from the United Kingdom, ten of whom belonged to the 6th Siege Battery, R.G.A. In Plot V, Row AA, are the graves of 16 officers and men of the 6th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, who were billeted in the vaults of the cathedral and killed on 12 August 1915 by shelling from the "Ypres Express" firing from Houthulst Forest. The survivors were rescued by the 11th King's Liverpools, but these bodies were not recovered until after the Armistice. There are now 2,613 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 1,034 of the burials are unidentified.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Casualty Details: UK 2263; Canada 155; Australia 143; New Zealand 28; South Africa 12; India 2;  Entirely Unidentified 10; Germany 1; Total Burials: 2614

 

 

In Plot V, Row AA, are the graves of 16 officers and men of the 6th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, who were billeted in the vaults of the cathedral and killed on 12 August 1915 by shelling from the "Ypres Express" firing from Houthulst Forest. The survivors were rescued by the 11th King's Liverpools, but these bodies were not recovered until after the Armistice.

 

 

 

The Plaine d'Amour (Minneplein) - This was an area of common ground situated between the inner and outer fortified walls of the town. It was widely used as a place of recreation by the townspeople as well as for animals to graze. The Plaine d'Amour was situated at the north-eastern part of the town, an area now occupied by a school and a disused football ground. The area was very close to where Ypres Reservoir Cemetery now stands and at one time the cemetery was sometimes referred to as Plaine d'Amour or Love's Place Cemetery.

The Plaine d'Amour before the war (above) and after the war (below)

 

 

 

M/340208 Private

Sanford Lionel Simpkins

M.T. attd. XXII. Corps "Y" Ammunition Park.

Army Service Corps.

03/01/1918, aged 22.

Son of William and Alma Rose Simpkins, of 5, Worcester Terrace, Kensington, Bath.

Plot IV. A. 10.

 

 
     

 

The same view of the cemetery at the end of the war (above)

and

In the early 1920's (below)

 

 

 The image below shows the cemetery in the early 1920's, before the wooden grave markers were replaced by headstones.

 

 

26275 Private

John Brindley South

11th Bn. The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

29/09/1915

Plot IX. F. 22.

 

Picture courtesy of Marian Aelick, John was my grandfather's brother

 

5326 Private

Joseph Timms

12th Bn. Manchester Regiment

07/12/1915, aged 22

Son of Mrs. Catherine Timms, of 20, Gertrude St., Salford, Manchester.

Plot I. A. 21

 

Picture courtesy of Anita Parncutt, great niece of this soldier

 

 

Victoria Cross: Brigadier General Francis Aylmer Maxwell, VC, C S I, D S O, Mentioned in Despatches. General Staff Cdg. 27th Inf. Bde, 9th (Scottish) Div. late 18th King George's Own Lancers. Killed in action  21/09/1917, aged 46. Plot I. A. 37. Son of Thomas Maxwell, M.D., and Violet Sophia Maxwell; husband of Charlotte Alice Hamilton Maxwell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citation: An extract taken from the "London Gazette," dated 8th March, 1901, records the following:- "Lieutenant Maxwell was one of three Officers not belonging to "Q" Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, specially mentioned by Lord Roberts as having shown the greatest gallantry, and disregard of danger, in carrying out the self-imposed duty of saving the guns of that Battery during the affair at Korn Spruit on 31st March 1900. This Officer went out on five different occasions and assisted to bring in two guns and three limbers, one of which he, Captain Humphreys, and some Gunners, dragged in by hand. He also went out with Captain Humphreys and Lieutenant Stirling to try to get the last gun in, and remained there till the attempt was abandoned. During a previous Campaign (the Chitral Expedition of 1895) Lieutenant Maxwell displayed gallantry in the removal of the body of Lieutenant-Colonel F D Battye, Corps of Guides, under fire, for which, though recommended, he received no reward."

 

 

Shot at Dawn

 

443288 Private Thomas Lionel Moles, 54th Bn. Canadian Expeditionary Force, executed for desertion 22/10/1917, aged 28. Plot I. H. 76. Son of Louisa Mudford (formerly Moles), of West Chinnock, Crewkerne, Somerset, England, and the late John Moles. Native of Brompton Ralph.

 

20279 Private Ernest Lawrence, 2nd Bn. Devonshire Regiment, executed for desertion 22/11/1917, aged 21. Plot I. I. 45. Son of John Lawrence, of 101, Clifton Rd., South Norwood, London.

 

11/81 Private Charles McColl, 1st/4th Bn. East Yorkshire Regiment, executed for desertion 28/12/1917, aged 26. Plot IV. A. 6. Son of Mrs. Annie McColl, of 6, Bramham Avenue, Woodhouse Street, Hull.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

500123 Lance Corporal

Clifford Garland

61st Div. Signal Coy. Royal Engineers

Accidentally killed,

28/08/1917, aged 22.

Son of Agnes E. Garland, of 34, Hampton Rd., Redland, Bristol, and the late Harry Garland.

Plot I. E. 56.

 

Picture courtesy of Ian Edwards