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Tyne Cot Cemetery


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The CWGC website introduction says it all!

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Near the town of Ieper in Belgium is Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world. It is now the resting place of more than 11,900 servicemen of the British Empire from the First World War. 

 

It has been studied by men, graves researched by many more, thousands of footsteps have been made between the crosses. This is probably too big a project to investigate in detail again, but I will post the many records that have been recovered (IN MANY STAGES), with the latest find this week from @Becstar in Australia. Although I had been through these records many times, this was a new set that Bec found and within an hour it revealed a new unknown - a Canadian Corporal of the 44th Battalion - the only one from Passchendaele on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Unknown 44th Bn Corporal: Tyne Cot 40.D.18

The GRRF and COG-BR documents have been discovered in stages over many years. Based on what Bec found this past month, I suspect that more may arrive in the years that follow. If you know of any - even one page - send it in as that leads to the others in the series.

 

Here is what we have to date:

 

I will break this topic up differently due to the size of the facility. Next will be what the CWGC has to say about the cemetery and the addition of all the Trench Map Coordinates (TMC).

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What the CWGC has to say about the cemetery, to which I will add the TMC as they are uncovered:
 

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Tyne Cot, originally “Tyne Cott.” or “Tyne Cottage”, was a name applied to a farm building which stood near the level crossing on the road from Passchendaele to Broodseinde. Around it were a number of blockhouses or ‘pillboxes'.
 

The origins of the name Tyne Cot are debated. The Ypres Times in 1923 indicated that the name was given by the Northumberland Fusiliers, several battalions of which first served in the area in May 1915. While trench maps, dating from as early as mid-1916, show a number of nearby features named after rivers including the Marne, Moulin, Rhine, Seine, Thames and Tyne.

 

Whatever the origins of the name, Tyne Cot and the surrounding five or six German blockhouses were captured by the 3rd Australian Division on 4 October 1917, in the advance on Passchendaele.

 

One of these pillboxes was unusually large and was used as an advanced dressing station after its capture. From 6 October to the end of March 1918, 343 graves were made, on two sides of it, by the 50th (Northumbrian) and 33rd Divisions, and by two Canadian units. The name Tyne Cot became associated with the cemetery at this time. Tyne Cot was in German hands again from 13 April to 28 September, when it was finally recaptured, with Passchendaele, by the Belgian Army.

 

Tyne Cot Cemetery is in an area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout the war.

 

The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence.
 

There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.

 

The German offensive of March 1918 met with some initial success, but was eventually checked and repulsed in a combined effort by the Allies in September.

 

Tyne Cot Cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarck, and from a few small burial grounds, including the following:
 

  • Iberian South Cemetery and Iberian Trench Cemetery, Langemarck 28.D.19.a.15.35, 1,200 metres North of Frezenberg, close to a farm called by the Army "Iberian". These contained the graves of 30 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in August-September 1917, and March 1918
    • there was a GWF post about this cemetery which had the information from the CWGC
    • the soldier is named so that gives us the information that it is Plot 12 Row G Grave 3 on COG-BR 2025441
    • that means the CWGC must have a list with the details as they knew that was the original burial location
       
  • Kink Corner Cemetery, Zonnebeke 28.D.26.a.7.4, on the road to Frezenberg, containing the graves of 14 soldiers from the United Kingdom, nine from Canada and nine from Australia, who fell in September-November 1917.
     
  • Levi Cottage Cemetery, Zonnebeke, near the road to Langemarck, containing the graves of 10 soldiers from the United Kingdom, eight from Canada and three from Australia, who fell in September-November 1917.
    • The UKNA maps DVD shows "Levi Cott" (Levi Cottages) at 28.D.21.a.8.3 so that must be the area
       
  • Oostnieuwkerke German Cemetery, in the village of Oostnieuwkerke, containing the graves of 20 soldiers and two airmen from the United Kingdom and two soldiers from Canada who fell in 1915-1917.
    • back to the UKNA trench maps and the village is at 20.W.3.d.5.5 more than 5,000 yards north of Passchendaele
       
  • Praet-Bosch German Cemetery, Vladsloo, in the forest on the road from Kortewilde to Leke. Here were buried six officers of the R.F.C. and R.A.F. who fell in 1917-18.
    • this must be the German graves on COG-BR 1836404 as they are labelled GERMAN GRAVE NO, .....
    • that places it a 20.W.17.a.90.85, which would be correct as there are 8 graves there
    • the previous COG-BR 1863403 calls in "De Ruter German Cemetery" - correct place, different name?
    • two of the graves contain UNKNOWNS - are they also aviators?
    • @fetubi (Trevor) will know if someone is missing from this area
       
  • Staden German Cemetery, on the South-East side of the road to Stadenberg, containing the graves of 14 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 10 from Canada who fell in 1915-1917.
    • UKNA places Staden at 20.P.18.c central
       
  • Waterloo Farm Cemetery, Passchendaele 28.D.9.d.9.9, 650 metres North-East of Gravenstafel, containing the graves of 10 soldiers from Canada, seven from the United Kingdom and two from New Zealand, who fell in 1917-18.
     
  • Zonnebeke British Cemetery No.2, on the road between Zonnebeke and Broodseinde, in which the Germans buried 18 men of the 2nd Buffs and 20 of the 3rd Royal Fusiliers who fell in April 1915.
     

King George V visited Tyne Cot Cemetery in 1922 during his visit to the cemeteries of the First World War. At his suggestion, a Cross of Sacrifice, also called the Great Cross, was placed on the original large blockhouse. Two remaining German blockhouses can be seen today.
 

There are now more than 11,900 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Tyne Cot Cemetery. More than 8,370 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to more than 80 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate 20 casualties whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. There are also four German burials, three being unidentified.

 

The Tyne Cot Memorial forms the north-eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery and commemorates nearly 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died in the Ypres Salient after 16 August 1917 and whose graves are not known. The memorial stands close to the farthest point in Belgium reached by Commonwealth forces in the First World War until the final advance to victory.

 

Only two (2) of the above were on the CWGC list of cemeteries (Kink & Waterloo). Going through the COG-BR documents, these are the only comments I found:

Edited by laughton
updating details in stages
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These are Canadian cases that have been posted prior to February 2020:

Now that the CWGC has stopped publishing the list of Commonwealth Cases Submitted, I welcome all members that add their finds to the table.

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  • 2 weeks later...

G’day,

Been off radar for awhile, life throwing some hurdles at the moment. 

No doubt more will come along, my niece is building up a database for Tyne Cot (I’m paying her way under award minimum wage for weekend work-although under fantastic working conditions. Niece understands is all for the cause 😁), which is how a name led to Richard finding the new batch of COG-BR’s. Thanks so much Richard for finding them. 

There will be no doubt more, when I get a chance I’ll go through the database to see what names are not included in the COG-BR’s thus far; that in turn should lead to some more COG-BR’s batches being found. Tyne Cot is a mammoth task, so I’ll say thanks to my niece & show her this post. - You, ma’ dear, are a legend... I’ll give you a great xmas bonus!

Cheers!

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