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R. E. Farm Cemetery. Wytschaete (now Wijtschate) was in Allied hands until 1 November 1914, from June 1917 to April 1918, and from 28 September 1918 onwards. It was the scene of exceptionally severe fighting in November 1914 and April 1918. "R.E. Farm" was the military name given to the Ferme des douze Bonniers. This building remained in Allied hands until April 1918. In December 1914 the 1st Dorsets began a cemetery (No.1) on the east side of the farm, which was used by fighting units and fie
Potijze Château Lawn and Grounds Cemeteries (The Potijze Chateau Cemeteries). The old chateau grounds at Potijze are the site of three Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries containing over 850 Commonwealth burials of the Great War. Potijze Chateau Grounds, Potijze Chateau Lawn, and Potijze Chateau Wood cemeteries were all formed in the spring of 1915 and used for the burial of Commonwealth soldiers until 1918. The architectural features of the cemeteries were designed by Sir Reginald Blo
Potijze Château Wood Cemetery. The Potijze Chateau Cemeteries. The old chateau grounds at Potijze are the site of three Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries containing over 850 Commonwealth burials of the Great War. Potijze Chateau Grounds, Potijze Chateau Lawn, and Potijze Chateau Wood cemeteries were all formed in the spring of 1915 and used for the burial of Commonwealth soldiers until 1918. The architectural features of the cemeteries were designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in the 1
Potijze Burial Ground. Potijze was within the Allied lines during practically the whole of the First Word War and although subject to incessant shell fire, Potijze Chateau contained an Advanced Dressing Station. Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery was used from April 1915 to October 1918. There are now 584 Commonwealth burials of the Great War within the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.
A special service is being held at Witheridge Parish Church in Devon at 2pm on Friday, June 28 to commemorate the centenary of the official end of the Great War. Here, in the run-up to the event, I look at how Devon's soldiers were still engaged in fighting in North Russia many months after the end of the Great War.
As peace was celebrated across Britain in the summer of 1919, few of the hundreds of thousand revellers in Devon were aware that some of their soldiers were still fighting fo
Warlencourt, the Butte de Warlencourt and Eaucourt-L'Abbaye were the scene of very fierce fighting in 1916. Eaucourt was taken by the 47th (London) Division early in October. The Butte (a Roman mound of excavated chalk, about 17 metres high, once covered with pines) was attacked by that and other divisions, but it was not relinquished by the Germans until the following 26 February, when they withdrew to the Hindenburg Line. The 51st (Highland) Division fought a delaying action here on 25 March 1
On 2nd/3rd June 1919 Thal had been relieved and the Kurram Militia with 22 Battery Motor Machine Guns took the battle back across the Durand Line and invaded Afghanistan. The attack had been planned on 1st June and at 1800 hours on 2nd June Maj Percy Dodd, Commandant of the Kurram Militia, led a column out of Parachinar and up to Kharlachi, arriving after dark. The column consisted of 100 infantry and 50 mounted infantry of the Kurram Militia, No 2 Section of 22 MMG, a company of 3rd Guides, 2 t
Many of our soldiers were still serving in three continents as the Great War finally ended on November 11, 1918. A special service marking the centenary of the official end of the war – when a peace treaty was signed in Versailles – is taking place at Witheridge Parish Church on Friday, June 28, 2019. Here, I look at the cost of the war and the challenges of demobilising millions of British officers and men.
When the guns of the Great War finally fell silent, the shocking cost of mor
Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery. This cemetery was made by the 23rd Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery, on 26 and 27 October 1918. It contained originally 111 graves, mainly of officers and men of the 38th (Welsh) and 33rd Divisions, and the 6th Dorsets, but after the Armistice it was increased when graves were brought in from the battlefields west, north and east of Montay, and from certain small cemeteries. There are now 470 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the Great War in this cemete
There was jubilation as the guns finally fell silent on the Great War battlefields on November 11, 1918.
But the war was not over when the firing stopped. There was still one more battle to fight – for a peace agreement.
Many of our soldiers remained ‘on duty’ on the Western Front, in Italy, Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia for months after the Armistice.
Countless numbers were still listed as ‘missing in action’ and the fate of many British prisoners of war was unknown as p
On 28th May 1919 a force of Afghans crossed the Durand Line and surrounded the post at Kharlachi which was held by 75 Kurram Militia. Two troops of 37th Lancers, 25 Kurram Militia mounted infantry and an additional 50 Kurram Militia infantry were sent from Parachinar to assist along with Number 2 Section of 22nd Battery Motor Machine Gun Service. The machine guns, under command of the battery commander, Major Alexander Molony, arrived first and opened fire on the enemy. When they arrived, the ca
Wieltje Farm Cemetery was made and used by fighting units (in particular by the 2nd/4th Gloucesters) in July-October 1917. There are now 115 Commonwealth servicemen of the Great War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 10 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to 20 casualties whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. There is also one German war grave. The cemetery was designed by A J S Hutton.
On 26th May 1919 the Afghans attacked the Kurram Militia outposts protecting the Peiwar Villages in the Upper Kurram Valley. Afghan regulars and tribesmen, supported by artillery fire, advanced across the border near Peiwar Kotal. Captain R W Wilson of the Kurram Militia counterattacked with 200 men. The Afghans were driven back with considerable loss. The militia were reinforced by number 2 section of 22 MMG, who were relieved on 27 May by number 3 section, commanded by A/Sjt Bill Macro.
Brussels Town Cemetery. Brussels was in German hands from 20 August 1914 to the date of the Armistice. Plot X of the cemetery contains the graves of 54 Commonwealth casualties, 50 of which were prisoners of war whose bodies were brought back from Germany by the Canadian Corps in April 1919. The British Expeditionary Force was involved in the later stages of the defence of Belgium following the German invasion in May 1940, and suffered many casualties in covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. Commo
Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery Extension. Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery was begun by field ambulances of the 48th (South Midland) and 58th (London) Divisions in August 1917. It continued in use until January 1918 and at the Armistice contained 86 graves. Between 1924 and 1926, the original cemetery was considerably enlarged when graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and some small burial grounds in the area. The cemetery and extension essentially form a single site
Written for the Petersfield Post April 2019. Not easy to précis his life in 450 words! "In St Peters Church is a stained glass window depicting St Michael in armour. It is dedicated to Lt-Colonel Gerard Leachman, one of the most colourful and courageous figures to have come out of Petersfield.He has been described as Petersfield’s Lawrence of Arabia, but while the self-promoting Lawrence became a legend, Leachman wrote little and is now largely forgotten.Born in 1880, he was the youngest child
On the Khyber, having pushed back the initial Afghan invasion, on 13th and 14th May 1919 the British advanced into Afghanistan to Loe Dakka. Meanwhile 22nd Battery, having recovered from policing operations in the Punjab to Rawalpindi, was warned for further operations. On 14th May, the battery left Rawalpindi by train at 0200 hours, arriving in Kohat at 1300 hours the same day. The following day, 15th May, all the baggage cars, with the guns of Number 1 Section, formed a road convoy to move fo