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Brandhoek New Military Cemetery


As the Brandhoek Military Cemetery had become full this cemetery was begun in anticipation of high casualties from Third Ypres. It was used by the 32nd, 44th and 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations. This cemetery remained open until late august 1917 when it to became full.


A CCS could be found anywhere from 8 to 15 miles from the front line. Brandhoek CCS, which had opened in mid-1915, was located less than 10,000 yards from the front line. In July 1917, it had become a Field Ambulance incorporating CCS’s 32, 44, and 3 Australian. It was shelled on 21 August 1917 and this was recorded by Lt. Col. Arthur Marin-Leake VC in the 46th Field Ambulance War Dairy:


About 11am today shelling began in this neighbourhood. Two shells fell in our area close to the building. There were lots of patients about at the time, but nobody was hurt; this is to be accounted for by the wet and soft ground where the shells pitched. Shells have dropped in the three CCS, and Number 44 has had a nurse and orderly killed. The shelling continued and off all day, mostly near the Railway. CCS evacuated in the evening.


Brandhoek was abandoned on 25 August and moved to Remy Siding (Lijssenthoek). The nurse killed was Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler along with 44 others. She is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.


The experience of large numbers of battle casualties led to the grouping of two or three CCS’s together as we have seen with Brandhoek. The distribution of the wounded to the CCS was either geographical or according to the Corps engaged. The CCS at Brandhoek performed specialised abdominal, chest, thigh operations in addition to the removal of shell fragments.


Cemetery Location

All three cemeteries at Brandhoek lie to the west of Vlamertinghe and are on the new road between Poperinge and Ieper. They are visible from the road.

(Linesman Map showing locations of the CCS at Brandhoek)


FALKIRK AND DISTRICT MEN BURIED HERE


Falkirk

41271 Pte John McPartlane

8th Battalion Suffolk Reg

13.8.17

VI. F. 3


Denny & Dunipace

49986 Sapper James Thomson

74th Field Company, Royal Engineers

31.7.17

III.A.6


Also buried here

Captain Noel Chavasse M.C. D.S.O. V.C and Bar

Royal Army Medical Corps, attached 1/10th (Liverpool Scottish) King’s (Liverpool Regiment), 166th Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division

Son of the Bishop of Liverpool and identical twin brother of Christopher Chavasse O.B.E., M.C. and Croix de Guerre

His headstone is unique in that it has two Victoria Crosses carved upon it.

Marin-Leake was the first man to be awarded a bar to his VC winning his at Zonnebeke and was one of only three men to have won a bar to his VC. The others being Captain Noel Chavasse and Charles Upham of the New Zealand Military Forces. Martin-Leake commanded No.46 Field Ambulance, 15th (Scottish Division) at Red Farm which was located near Brandhoek CCS. On the 31 July 1917, 2,153 casualties passed through No.46 Field Ambulance. On 2nd August, Noel Chavasse was brought to the Field Ambulance as a patient. He was MO to the 1/10 King’s (Liverpool Regiment), the Liverpool Scottish of the 55th Division. Martin-Leake had seen him but only later did the meeting assume any significance. Dr J A Campbell Colston, an American doctor attached to 46th Field Ambulance recorded the meeting in his diary:

An Ambulance came up late tonight and in it was Captain Chavasse, VC, RAMC, of the King’s Liverpool Battalions of the 55th Division. His face was unrecognizable, all blackened from a shellburst very near and he seemed to be unconscious, as he had an abdominal wound besides, I did not take him out of the Ambulance which was sent on direct to 32 CCS where he will probably die.


He was indeed fatally wounded, and he died on 4 August. Chavasse won his Bar posthumously, his award of the Bar was announced on 14 September, at Wieltje which is only a few miles from where Martin-Leake had won his.


Burials

UK – 514

Australian – 11

Canadian – 6

German – 25

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