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Remembered Today:


St. Julien Dressing Station Cemetery

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This came via a request for the ZIP files from @8055Bell here:



What the CWGC tells us:


St. Julien was within the Allied lines from the late autumn of 1914 until April 1915. The Germans used poison gas here for the first time on 22 April, but the village was held by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade until a second gas attack two days later. It was recaptured by the 39th Division in early August but passed into German hands again on 27 April 1918.


St Julien was finally retaken by the Belgian Army on 28 September. The Dressing Station Cemetery was begun in September 1917. By March 1918, the cemetery consisted of Plots I, III and part of Plot II, and contained 203 graves, but it was severely damaged by shell fire in the summer of 1918.


The cemetery was increased after the Armistice when graves were brought into Plots II and IV from the battlefields surrounding St. Julien. There are 420 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 180 of the burials are unidentified, but there are special memorials to 11 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.


They do not list where the concentrations came from, so I will go fetch the GRRF and COG-BR documents (if any) and see if we can get more detail. I will make the ZIP files and then activte (update) these links:



I did find one COG-BR in the cemetery for ASTLES #16909 but it was for a memorial cross in the New Irish Farm Cemetery. It does not mean there are no other COG-BR documents, just that the CWGC has not linked them to the files of the concentrated men in Polts 2 and 4. You would need to ask Andrew at the CWGC if he has those records. In some cases, the records no longer exist.


Some possible cases:


  1. A Grenadier Guards Corporal in Plot 2 Row B Grave 2 (GRRF 18310030 or GRRF 1831064), if related to the action of Pte Day #23557 in the next grave, would be the only one for that time on the Menin Gate Memorial - Corporal Peter John Dale #20869 8 August 1917, 4th Battalion.
  2. Unknown 8th Battalion Canadian in Plot 2 Row J Grave 24 (or 26?) with the initials F.H. One of the three on the Menin Gate Memorial is from that time in June 1916 - Pte F. Harlock #A/22240. The fellow next to him, same unit, had the initials C.J. and was a Lance Corporal. The closest match is Fred Jackson #A/22473, aslo 14 June 1916. Interesting that in the second set of the GRRF documents they did name him as HARLOCK and then changed it to a UCS (GRRF 1831075)? It has a notation about a Provisional Cross "E", which would be a Kipling Memorial.


There were others, such as the Unknown Lance Corporal of the 72nd Bn CEF Seaforth Highlanders (2.F.11), that were not resolvable (CWGC Link).


The morning and early afternoon of Thursday, 22 April, a bright sunny day, brought no variation from the daily routine of the troops of the 1st Canadian Division. The 2nd and 3rd Brigades were in the line, and at Vlamertinghe the 1st Brigade, alerted for possible action at Hill 60, continued training.


Shortly before 3:00 p.m. the 3rd Brigade received notification of one hundred mouth organs waiting to be picked up at Divisional Headquarters. The Salient had been under fairly heavy shelling since the 19th, the German fire being directed mainly on roads and bridges north and east of Ypres.


There was a lull during the afternoons but, soon after four o’clock the French front line on the north of the Salient came under a violent bombardment, which gradually shifted to the Canadian sector. At five o’clock the Germans opened the valves of the gas cylinders* for from six to eight minutes, releasing more than one hundred and sixty tons of chlorine into a light north-east wind.



Edited by laughton
updated links as stated

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