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Bedford House Cemetery

Updated: Dec 31, 2023


The Chateau Rosendale stood on the site of the cemetery. It was a country house in a wooded, moated park. The house and wood have gone but the moat and some ruins remain. The chateau was taken over by the British early in the war and was used as a brigade headquarters with Field Ambulances and Advanced Dressing Stations located in the cellars. It was called Woodcote House on British maps. By the end of the war there were five enclosures and was enlarged with the concentration of graves after the Armistice. The front line ran through the cemetery following the German advance in 1918.


Of the five enclosures, the graves in No.1 were moved to the White House Cemetery, St Jan, and No.5 was moved to Aeroplane Cemetery.


Enclosure No.2 was used from December 1915 to October 1918 and was enlarged following the Armistice to allow for the concentration of graves from the Ecole de Bienfaisance, this was located on the south side of the Menin Road in the grounds of a large school, and Asylum Cemeteries, the Asylum cemetery was located on the Ypres – Poperinghe Road and the Asylum was used as an ADS from 1915 to 1917, was the largest concentrated into Bedford House with 283 men reinterred at Bedford House cemetery. There are two Special Memorials to men whose graves were destroyed by artillery shellfire.


Enclosure No.3 is the smallest and was used from February 1915 to December 1916. One Belgian soldier was removed and there are twenty-two men of the 7th Battalion, East Yorkshires, 50th Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division.


Enclosure No.4 is the largest and was used, mainly by the 47th (2nd London) Division from June 1916 to February 1918. After the Armistice it was used for the concentration of 3,300 graves and there are also twenty-five Special Memorials to men Believed To Be Buried here and a further twenty-five to men whose graves were lost in cemeteries that were concentrated here. There are two Canadian brothers buried here. Grave I.P.3 Private G Hamilton and Grave I.K.12 Private S Hamilton. Both served with the 21st Battalion Canadian Infantry and were killed at Mount Sorrel on 14 June 1916.



Interestingly, Enclosure No.6 was discovered after the War and most of the graves are unidentified.

(View of the cemetery)


Cemeteries concentrated here

There were six cemeteries concentrated at Bedford House Asylum Cemetery, this was located in the grounds of the mental hospital on the Poperinge Road. It was used between February 1915 to November 1917, there were 265 British, 9 Canadian, 7 Australian, and two British West Indies Regiment graves. Boesinghe French Cemetery No.2, this was located to the south of Bard Cottage and contained one British grave. Droogenbroodhoek German Cemetery, Moorslede, one British grave from October 1914.Ecole de Bienfaisance, Ypres, located on the north side of the Poperinge Road near the Asylum. It contained 133 British, 3 Canadian, 3 Australian and one British West Indies Regiment. It was in use from 1915 to 1917. Kerkhove Churchyard had five British and seven German graves. They were all casualties from the fighting in October and November 1918. Poelcappelle German Cemetery No.4, this was located on the St Julien Road and held 52 British casualties from 1914 to 1916. Zonnebeke British Cemeteries No’s 1 & 3 these, and two others, were made by the Germans and were located on either side of the Zonnebeke – Broodsiende Road, on what was known as the Devil’s Hill. No.1 contained 31 British graves, mainly from the 2nd East Surreys from the fighting in April 1915. No.3 contained 69 British graves from the fighting in April and May 1915.


Canon Frederick George Scot, C.M.G., D.S.O. Chaplain to the 1st (Canadian) Division

Writing in his memoir ‘The Great War As I Saw It’ recalled his visit to Bedford House in April 1916: ‘There were several interesting chateaus in the neighbourhood. The nearest to the front was called Bedford House, and stood in what must have been once very beautiful grounds. The upper part of the house was in ruins, but the cellars were deep and capacious and formed a good billet for the officers and men. At one side there was a dressing station and in the garden were some huts protected by piles of sand bags.


Enclosure No.2, Grave I.A.21 Lieutenant-Colonel Oswald Mosley Crowshaw, D.S.O. Three times mentioned in Despatches. Glasgow Yeomanry (Queen's Own Royal) attached to the 53rd Battalion Australian Infantry, A.I.F.. Age 38. Killed 26 September 1917. Son of the late George and Evelyn Croshaw, of Churchill, Chislehurst, Kent; husband of Alice Francis Croshaw, of The Hill House, Naas Co., Kildare.


Crowshaw was devoted to his men and had joined the A.I.F. in Egypt. He was in command of the Australian 53rd Battalion and died from wounds received in the attack at Polygon Wood on 26 September 1917. He was described by the official Australian historian C.E.W. Bean, as ‘one of the noblest British officers in the A.I.F.’ Before leading the advance he said to his officers ‘Gentlemen, your men before yourselves. Look to your flanks. God bless you lads, till we meet again.’ He then moved to the centre of the Battalion, but few saw him fall. His adjutant was hit at the same time. The chaplain of the 53rd Battalion described him as ‘the bravest soldier, the most God fearing Christian, and the most perfect gentleman I have ever known.


Son of MP Buried here

The only son of William O'Malley, the journalist, speculative business manager, and Irish Parliamentary Party MP for Galway Connemara from 1895-1918.


Shot at Dawn

Pte Frederick Turner, 1/6th Northumbrian Fusiliers, 149 Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division, he deserted in in August 1917 near Arras. He was captured but escaped and was then recaptured. He was executed on 23 October 1917.


Victoria Cross holder Grave: Enclosure No.4 Grave XIV. B. 36.

2nd Lieutenant Rupert Price Hallowes, M.C., V.C., Mentioned in Despatches. 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment (the Duke of Cambridge’s Own), 8th Brigade, 3 Division. Age 34. Died 30 September 1915. Son of F. B. and Mary Ann Taylor Hallowes, of Dan-y-Ffynnon, Port Talbot, Glam. He won his V.C. at Hooge on 25 to 30 September 1915. An extract from the "London Gazette", No. 29371, dated 16th Nov. 1915, records the following: - "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the fighting at Hooge between 25th September and 1st October 1915. Second Lieutenant Hallowes displayed throughout these days the greatest bravery and untiring energy and set a magnificent example to his men during four heavy and prolonged bombardments. On more than one occasion he climbed up on the parapet, utterly regardless of danger, in order to put fresh heart into his men. He made daring reconnaissances of the German positions in our lines. When the supply of bombs was running short, he went back under very heavy shell fire and brought up a fresh supply. Even after he was mortally wounded, he continued to cheer those around him and to inspire them with fresh courage."


British Airmen Buried Here

There are two British pilots buried here Grave Encl No.4 X.C.3Captain Gifford Davidge Horton, Pilot, 98 Squadron. KIA 31 May 1918. Grave Encl. No.4 VIII.E.24 Lieutenant Richard Mayberry, Age 26. 3rd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers attached Royal Flying Corps. 70 Squadron. KIA 15 November 1917. Read more here


German Airman Buried Here

Grave Encl. No.2 I.F.33 Leutnant der Reserve Walter Rode, Pilot, Flieger Abteilung 3. KIA 20 August 1917. He was flying a Rumpler reconnaissance aircraft. His observer Vizefeldwebel Wilhelm donner is buried in Frasnoy German Cemetery, east of Valenciennes, some seventy kilometres from the crash site at Brielen. They were shot down by Captain Gordon Taylor of 66 Squadron flying in a Sopwith Pup.


Cemetery Location

Bedford House Cemetery is located south of Ieper on the road to St Eloi and is 1.1km south of Shrapnel Corner.

(Linesman Map)


FALKIRK DISTRICT MEN BURIED HERE


Camelon

87778 Pte William Smith

11th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Reg) Pioneers

Age

8.10.17

Encl. No.2 III.C.10


Slamannan

534 Gunner William Gordon

'C' Btty, 106th Bgde, Royal Field Artillery

Age 31

16.3.16

Encl. No.2 III.D.12


Airth

671481 Driver John Cowie

380th Btty, 158th Bgde, Royal Field Artillery

Age 21

15.11.17

Encl. No.4 VIII.G.9


Muiravonside

15981 Pte John Lithgow

11th Battalion, Royal Scots

Age 19

11/10/15

Encl. No.4 VIII. C21


Burials


No.2 No.3 No.4 No.6

UK 673 55 3188 35

Australian 22 179

New Zealand 5 25

Canadian 21 5 309

South African 17

British West Indies 5 1

Guernsey 3

India 20

Russia 1

German 1 1

Known Unto God 2 499

Unnamed 33 2478

Special Memorials 2 45

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