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Strand Military Cemetery


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The need to look at the detailed records for Strand Military Cemetery came as a result of a request from @Marianne who is looking for her grandfather that was killed near Armentieres in August 1915. He was in the vicinity of 36.I.4 or 5 when killed and buried. He is listed on COG-BR 2154703, with two (2) others with no remains, however on the next page there are two (2) with remains COG-BR 2154704.

 

Here are the ZIP Files for Strand Military Cemetery:

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/8wy8lkbjdxuvn/Strand_Military_Cemetery

 

When I started to look at that case, I realized that this may also be where my lost Canadian (Pte. John Montanelli #24267: see article) is buried, as they brought in bodies from France into Belgium. I had checked all the cemeteries around Armentiere, but I had never looked in Belgium. He was lost at Bois-Grenier 36.H.30, due south of Armentieres - see [Lille] 36.

 

Here is what the CWGC says (I will come back and enter the TMC for the recovery sites from the DAL or the COG-BR):

 

Quote

'Charing Cross' was the name given by the troops to a point at the end of a trench called the Strand, which led into Ploegsteert Wood. In October 1914, two burials were made at this place, close to an Advanced Dressing Station, The cemetery was not used between October 1914 and April 1917, but in April-July 1917 Plots I to VI were completed. Plots VII to X were made after the Armistice, when graves were brought in from some small cemeteries and from the battlefields lying mainly between Wytschaete and Armentieres. The cemetery was in German hands for a few months in 1918, but was very little used by them. The following are some of the burial grounds concentrated into Strand Military Cemetery:-

 

  • EPINETTE ROAD CEMETERY, HOUPLINES (Nord), on the Southern outskirts of Houplines village, contained the graves of 24 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in November, 1914-September, 1915.
  • LA BASSE-VILLE GERMAN CEMETERY, WARNETON (West Flanders) COG-BR 2154639  28.U.17.b.7.3, on the road from La Basse-Ville to Warneton, contained the graves of 68 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from South Africa who died in German hands, April-August, 1918. MY NOTE: a lot of Wilts and there may be a burial list on the ICRC.
  • LE BIZET CONVENT MILITARY CEMETERY, PLOEGSTEERT, COG-BR 2154656 36.C.14.a.40.65 was in the grounds of the Assumptionist Convent between Le Bizet and Motor Car Corner. It contained the graves of 88 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Canada who fell in October, 1914-October, 1916.
    • MY NOTE: I have not seen him listed yet!
  • NACHTEGAAL No.1 GERMAN CEMETERY, MERCKEM (West Flanders) COG-BR 2154626 20.O.21.b.0.8, midway between Merckem and Houthulst, made in April, 1916, contained the graves of two R.F.C. officers who fell in June, 1917. It was closed in July, 1917.
  • PLOEGSTEERT WOOD NEW CEMETERY, WARNETON, in the South-East corner of the wood, contained the graves of 19 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the loss and recapture of Le Gheer, October, 1914.
  • PROWSE POINT LOWER CEMETERY, WARNETON, was a little North of Ploegsteert Wood. It was made by the 1st Rifle Brigade, and it contained the graves of 13 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1915 and 1916.
  • TOUQUET-BERTHE GERMAN CEMETERY, PLOEGSTEERT, COG-BR 2154646  28.U.26.b.6.2 on the road from Ploegsteert to Le Gheer, contained two unidentified R.A.F. graves of July, 1918. MY NOTE: the date for the RAF Officer is stroked out
  • WARNETON CHURCHYARD was destroyed in the War. It contained the grave of one soldier from the United Kingdom, buried by the Germans in December, 1914.

 

There are now 1,143 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 354 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to six casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to 13 whose graves in four of the concentrated cemeteries were destroyed by shell fire. 

 

MY NOTE: Other ones I see that are not listed:

 

Some that I noticed while taking a preliminary look:

 

  • *** ALERT: The Captain of the Wiltshire Regiment in 7.A.6 was not identified in 1931 (SPEC-EXH 2154610; GRRF 2154884; COG-BR 2154611), but clearly Captain Arthur Curgeneven Magor is the only one on the Menin Gate Memorial for 17 October 1914. They suggested the 18th or 19th - close enough!
    • The records are clear that a company of the Wiltshire Regiment was sent to occupy Becelaire on 16 October 1914 28.J.18, so they passed in the immediate area where the remains of the Officer were recovered at 28.J.11 in an isolated grave.
    • There is a reference to a "Special Note" on the exhumation report, which could be the gold dental plates that were submitted? Where is the covering letter?
  • I don't think I have looked for this Canadian Sergeant and his comrades (COG-BR 2154613), as I have no listing for the B451 STRAND in the CEFSG Forum?
    • That might have been early in "my training" and it did not catch my eye as obvious.
    • That is just south of Observatory Ridge in Armagh Woods, home to a lot of Canadians in the Battle of Mount Sorrel 2-13 June 1916.
    • It may be there were just too many Sergeants missing? I will take another look.
  • Unknown Canadian Officer COG-BR 2154629 and SPEC-EXH 2154630 found at 28.I.30.c.30.95, again in Armagh Woods
  • See if there is a sole missing soldier of the 5th Border Regiment, maybe 1914 as well - COG-BR 2154651 at 36.C.8.c.4.9
  • Hard to read but there is an Unknown British Officer - hard to say "Coldstream Guards"? COG-BR 2154653
  • It looks as if there is a L/Cpl of the Wiltshire Regiment here, perhaps one in 4.G.1 and another in 4.G.5 - will need to enhance the image COG-BR 2145678
  • I think I looked at this case before COG-BR 2154700 - the French said he was a British Captain killed by accident in October 1914 just west of Armentieres 36.C.28.c.2.5
    • bet I looked for someone missing in Belgium, not realizing these TMC are in France!
    • probably one of the twenty one (21) at La Bassée 36c.A.12 from 10 October to 2 November 1914 (CWGC Link)
    • just look for the one that was an accidental death and was 22 years old (circa 1892) - Know, Lyall, Grayson are the only candidates who have no age provided
    • I am not sure of the meaning of the COG-BR - there may have not been any remains?
  • An Unknown Leicester Lieutenant at 36.C.29.a.1.3 - Leicestershire Regiment has seven (7) missing in Belgium and probably only the nine (9) if in the north of France
  • We have a Canadian, deemed to be Lance Corporal Strand #51084 of the PPCLI in the Armentieres Sector on 4 June 1915 COG-BR 2154724
    • found on the side of a communication trench at 36.C.28. 2 miles south of Messines, Belgium (Casualty Card)
    • that is just north of where Marianne's grandfather is reported buried
    • surprised me, they were there at the time and his death is reported (war diary e001072446), near the Asylum (but the Asylum is at 36.I.2)?
    • that means there is a significant group of Canadians killed in France, buried in Belgium - that would skew the records!
  • Here is a candidate for Marianne's grandfather found at 36.I.5.a.6.7 so they definitely exhumed that area @Marianne COG-BR 2154734
    • that was an exhumation on 19 January 1920, so recovered a few weeks before they found the cross on her grandfather's grave on 5 February 1920

 

That is the end of the list.

Edited by laughton
continuing with post, added link for ZIP Files, fixed links
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Thank you so much Laughton for this great research.

The 8th DLI relieved the Canadians on their arrival in Armentieres I think. I had come across the CR you referenced as a possible candidate for my GF but again the location found possibly seems a bit out of the way of both trench 74 and the battalion HQ? Perhaps the log entry is a bit of a red herring. 

Im glad the search has possibly helped you in your other research. 

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23 hours ago, laughton said:

Marianne:

 

First thing that strikes me is that the Memorial Plot or cross was placed at the location where he was killed near Trench 34 at 36.I.5.c.1.5 and not where he was reported buried near 36.I.4.b.3.6, near the Battalion Headquarters. There may be a clue in the other man, Private White #717 who was killed 4 days earlier and they looked for him at the same location.

 

That meant looking for the war diary pages, which are filed where the 6th Bn diaries were listed. Found August 1915 finally (war diary page 92 of 840). They are mixed together because the 6th and 8th had been made into a composite battalion after taking heavy casualties in June 1915. They were split up again just about this time in August 1915. The war diary tells us that was on August 7th, when the 6th Battalion was moved to billets at the Asylum.

 

The billets for the unit were at the Hospice, which I can see at about 36.I2.a.5.7 (McMaster [Lille] 36). Figures, I wanted to check what happened to Pte. White on the 9th and page 46 of the war diary is missing! It jumps from the 8th to the 13th, which is the page that you have (war diary page 95 of 840). Looks to me as if they are the same place, as on the map it is "Hospice des Alienes" which means "Home for the Insane". There is no separate asylum shown. There may have been a separate "Hospice Civil" as that is mentioned in the diary on 20 August 1915 (war diary page 98 of 840). That location would need to be checked. On the 21st they are mentioned as two separate places.

 

In luck, the missing page appears later (war diary page 96 of 840). The 6th is at the Asylum and the 8th is in the trenches, for 9 August 1915. It reports the death of Pte. White but does not say where he was buried. They did not go back to the Asylum that night so he may have been buried at the front lines.

 

On the night of the 13th, the battalion went back to the billets of the 6th at the Asylum, so if they had collected the dead that is where they would have taken Pte. Dent.

 

I do have all the COG-BR records for the Strand Military Cemetery (28.U.19), all of which should be checked to see if there are any unknowns at the location of the Asylum. I do not recall noticing that they were burying remains that were found in France in cemeteries in Belgium! That is a good clue for me on another case, as I have one lost Canadian from Bois-Grenier and that may be where he is located - I never looked for him there.There are a lot from 36.C.14 buried there, which is just to the north of Armentieres (Le Bizet Convent Military Cemetery).

 

Have you looked at the records from all the cemeteries in the area? I assume that you know that all the ones I have assembled are here:

 

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/e6csl7gfp5jf8/1._New_Zipped_Files_-_Faster!

 

I must go for now but please keep me posted on your progress!

 

Richard of Canada

 

I put the locations into a Google Map Overlay.

  • killed at the trench located in 36.I.5.c
  • cross erected at 36.I.5.c.1.5, probably where he fell
  • body taken back to BN HQ at 36 I.4.b.3.6 at the end of the day and later buried
  • the burial ground could have been anywhere in 36.I.4.b or 36.I.5.a

 

yvpetmk7qi5w2eg6g.jpg

Edited by laughton
consolidated information on George Dent
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  • 11 months later...
On 26/11/2018 at 12:01, laughton said:

When I started to look at that case, I realized that this may also be where my lost Canadian (Pte. John Montanelli #24267: see article) is buried, as they brought in bodies from France into Belgium. I had checked all the cemeteries around Armentiere, but I had never looked in Belgium. He was lost at Bois-Grenier 36.H.30, due south of Armentieres - see [Lille] 36.

 

It turned out that Private Montanelli was not in the Strand Military Cemetery but he has since been found in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery:

https://cefresearch.ca/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=114220#p114220

 

They moved him even further away than it would have been to take him to Strand. It was the discussion about the movement of concentrations to great distances that brought me back to this cemetery a year later. I see there were some clues uncovered that I did not investigate further. Back to work!

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The Wiltshire Officer (Captain) now has his own topic:

 

Strand Military Cemetery: Case #1 - Captain (Officer) Wiltshire Regiment

 

On the next one, there were eighty-five (85) Sergeants missing at that time, many from the Canadian Mounted Rifles battalions which flooded that area with men on 2 June 1916 (CWGC Link). There are also many from the 3rd Infantry Brigade that was there 3 June 1916. There is no case there.

On 26/11/2018 at 12:01, laughton said:

I don't think I have looked for this Canadian Sergeant and his comrades (COG-BR 2154613), as I have no listing for the B451 STRAND in the CEFSG Forum?

  • That might have been early in "my training" and it did not catch my eye as obvious.
  • That is just south of Observatory Ridge in Armagh Woods, home to a lot of Canadians in the Battle of Mount Sorrel 2-13 June 1916.
  • It may be there were just too many Sergeants missing? I will take another look.

 

This one is worthy of a further look, however I was probably way off base on the issue of the memorials. These are more likely to be the ones on the Ploegsteert Memorial or even the Menin Gate Memorial, as that is where most of these British men in that area are recorded.

On 26/11/2018 at 12:01, laughton said:

I think I looked at this case before COG-BR 2154700 - the French said he was a British Captain killed by accident in October 1914 just west of Armentieres 36.C.28.c.2.5

  • bet I looked for someone missing in Belgium, not realizing these TMC are in France!
  • probably one of the twenty one (21) at La Bassée 36c.A.12 from 10 October to 2 November 1914 (CWGC Link)
  • just look for the one that was an accidental death and was 22 years old (circa 1892) - Know, Lyall, Grayson are the only candidates who have no age provided
  • I am not sure of the meaning of the COG-BR - there may have not been any remains?

The Ploegsteert has five (5) Captains listed for October 1914 so it won't take much to check the war diaries for those entries (CWGC Link). If the ages are correct on the database, then 4 of the 5 are off the list already, leaving only Captain George Anson. There is information and a photograph of him for Malvern College. He was either killed in action at Ennetieres or died as a POW, neither of which match with killed in an accident. If he is in the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial then there are fifty-seven candidates (CWGC Link), of which thirty-nine (39) are reported older than 22. That means checking the remainder for their age or cause of death.

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There appears to be confusion, at least on my part, as to who was buried in this cemetery and who ended up with an empty grave. To investigate this I had to retrieve the headstone details. These were in two (2) groups for the concentrations and the regular burials. You will now find these here:

 

Our British Captain that was killed accidentally started the question.

doc2154700.JPG

 

All the details are recorded on the COG-BR above, including the report from the French residents, yet the grave was then reported as "No Remains"?

 

If you look at the corresponding GRRF on the right they have him as an "Unknown British Officer", buried beside Galloway #2203. However the GRRF is marked cancelled and if we look up Galloway, we also find him as Galldway in 8.I.6 (COG-BR 2154839). He also appears in the Memorial Plot (COG-BR 2154870).The final decision is that he is in 8.I.6.

 

doc2154854.JPG

 

The other fellow of interest is Gubbay #2308 who is on the other side of the Captain. If we look him up, he is gone from the cemetery and is on the Menin Gate Memorial. If he was in the cemetery they lost him.

The same applies to Howard #1277.

 

What do we find if we look at what is on the headstones? This probably would have to be verified by a site visit as well. I don't see 10.B.14 in the headstone records. If you look at the schematic of the cemetery, Plot 10 Row B only has graves 1-10. The Unknown British Captain, as reported by the French, has completely disappeared! That would suggest that there is no much use looking for him anymore.

 

CemeteryPlan.ashx?id=16400

 

Edited by laughton
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There is always an advantage in these types of cases if we have missing Canadians, as their service records and casualty reports survived. By WWII I presume they were all in Ottawa and not affected by the London bombings and fires.

 

So on the GRRF that appears to have been cancelled we have two (2) Canadians at least that have records. Sergeant John Layland #8283 and Sergeant Charles Goodman #8406 are both on the list. Today, they are both on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

 

Sergeant Goodman was reported to at 28.U.19.c.4.8 on the COG-BR document. but no remains were recovered. The Strand Military Cemetery is almost at the same location 28.U.19.d.05.25 so if he was there at some point, they lost him. His casualty card says he died of wounds at the advanced dressing station in the vicinity of Ploegsteert and the Reverend reported he was buried at Mud Lane, Hyde Park Corner 28.N.19.c.6.8. Generally when someone died at a medical facility and was buried, they did not lose the grave.

 

Sergeant Layland was reported killed in action in the trenches near Ploegsteert and buried at Mud Lane, but here is is reported as Mud Lane of Ploegsteert Wood at 28.U.19.b.5.5. His E-13 says he was buried by the Chaplain of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade. If you look up Mud Lane on the trench maps it is reported as being in Ploegsteert Wood at 28.U.14.c-d and 28.U.19b-20a. It would appear the "N" in the Goodman casualty report was a typo - a N for a U. The trench map shows Mud Lane as a road (later referenced as "Mud Lane Duckwalk") that runs from Hyde Park Corner on the west to Mud Corner on the east. on the north edge of Ploegsteert Wood.

 

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Edited by laughton
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