Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Wimereux Communal Cemetery


Myrtle
 Share

Recommended Posts

A spur of the moment visit to Calais/Boulogne on Friday enabled me to visit Wimereux Communal Cemetery. I wonder if somebody can please give me some help in solving a small mystery? I have a reference from CWGC for John McCrae's grave as being 1V.H.3. This ref. matched the ref. in the cemetery register but then I spent a long time trying to locate J.McCrae's grave as the location did not appear to match the reference.

Was this down to my "orienteering skills" or the hurricane at the time of my search? I was trying to peer through torrential rain without an umbrella as the wind was too strong to permit such cover; however J. McCrae's grave seemed to be the other side of the large cross from where I expected it to be. Has somebody a plan of Wimereux Communal Cemetery or know where I can view one?

Also does anyone know what work is being carried out in the War Cemetery area of Wimereux? There were a number of holes, some deep, rectangular and burial sized and others more shallow. There were also grave stones lying at one side of the area. I checked the CWGC web site and there is no mention of work being carried out at Wimereux Communal Cemetery.

Regards

Myrtle

P.S. As this is my first posting on the New Forum I just want to say,"Chris you're a Star!"

Also Happy Birthday Greenwoodman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you :)

As luck would have it, Wimereux was the last stop on our marathon in June. Due to the mis-referencing of one of the men I was seeking in Boulogne Eastern, the search took longer than expected (in the pouring rain!). Wimereux had to be dropped, so its first stop next time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at Wimereux Communal Cemetery myself beginning of July, and though it had taken me a (too) long time to find the cemetery, I remember finding John McCrae's headstone (almost ?) immediately. IV.H.3 it was indeed. But maybe I was just lucky. And maybe I did not really check the numbers, as I knew that it was very near the Cross of Sacrifice.

Sorry, I have no plan of the cemetery, but I took 4 (digital) photos of the grave and the other graves nearby. Should you want me to email them to you, just contact me. It will be a pleasure. (As I fully understand that taking photos in a hurricane and not protected by an umbrella is not exactly an comfortable thing to do !...)

Aurel Sercu (Ypres)

aurel.sercu@pandora.be

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Myrtle

Below a map of the cemetery. I've made plot IVH red. And don't worry you couldn't find it, it's a universally known fact that women can't read maps...

forum1.jpg

Regards,

Marco :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Myrtle and Marco,

I must say I am a bit confused. Not by what Marco wrote about that universally known truth... (Maybe I just thought the same but did not have the courage to write it :rolleyes: )

From my own recollection, and having a look at the photos I took when I was there, I could have sworn that John McCrae's grave was in the row just near the word "Great" in Great Cross, and not in the row that Marco coloured red.

(If indeed the coloured row is IV.H - and I have no reason to doubt it - then I understand why Myrtle could not find John McCrae's grave. And that the hurricane was not the cause.)

However, my (visual and other) memory is no longer what it used to be... So my recollection may be wrong.

Just one more thing, Marco... What is the number / letter of the row I referred to, I mean : just above the word "Great" ? (My monitor screen is too small for me to read it.)

Aurel Sercu

Ypres

My Webpage

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Marco,

Thank you very much for the map of Wimereux. This confirms that I was correct with my original opinion that Lt-Col John McCrae's gravestone is not where you would expect to find it according to the cemetery plan. As you look at the map i.e. standing below 1V (with your back to the register box) looking at the Great Cross John McCrae's gravestone is now to the right of the Great Cross.

Does this confirmation of my having read the map correctly in a hurricane mean that I am not a woman or that I am the exception that proves the rule?

Regards

Myrtle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Aurel

Thank you for your kind offer of a photograph of John McCrae's grave. I did take a couple of photographs while wiping my lense frantically so I will see how they turn out when the film is developed. I will get back to you if the photographs are not clear.

Regarding your recent message. I have looked very carefully at the plan sent by Marco and it does look as if there are two rows marked H 1-4.

This could be the reason for the confusion.

Regards

Myrtle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,

Oh, dear, doubt..... :huh: Maybe I will need to eat my own words.

The row Aurel refers to is row H, but is it 4H or 3H? I thought plot 3 was the one above the cross and plot 4 the one below. But now that I am looking: what are those lines next to the plot numbers? Arrows? Is plot 3 the graves left of the cross and 4 the ones to the right over the full lenght of the cemetery. I think not, and I certainly hope not! :D

Marco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having looked at the same map in the original CWGC register, Plot III runs down the left side of the Cross (looking at the map) and Plot IV runs down the right side. The plots run vertically down the length of the map and not III above the Cross and IV below.

Therefore, John McCrae should be buried to the right of the Cross and not where Marco has marked it in red (sorry, Marco) - unless the register grave number is wrong. Aurel's memory would seem to be correct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...