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British Airmen - Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery

There are many airmen buried in this cemetery with many brought here after the Armistice having been exhumed from German cemeteries. I have listed a selection below.


Grave IV.F.22 Major (formerly Lt Commander R.N.) James Ingleby Harrison. 214 Squadron RAF. Age 36. KIA 16.5.18. Son of the Rev. John James Harrison (Chaplain and Naval Instructor R.N.) and Louisa Edith Darwall Harrison, of Barn Park, Boscastle, Cornwall. Entered R.N. 1895. Grave IV.F.21 Captain Cecil George Rushton. Age 35. Son of George Alfred and Florence Rushton. Grave IV.F.20 Lieutenant Wilfrid John King. Age 20. Son of Thomas Olpin King and Mary King, of 55, Manor Park, Lee, London. Crew of a Handley Page bomber No.3132 failed to return from a raid on Bruges docks. Caught in searchlight and anti-aircraft fire. Fourth crew member Lieutenant W A Leslie was taken prisoner and repatriated on 30 December 1918. They were originally buried at Bruges Town German Cemetery with their bodies exhumed after the Armistice and reburied here.

Ypres Salient, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Authors image. Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery

Ypres Salient, Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
IWM Q 8142 Wounded Major Harrison of No. 214 Squadron RAF being carried in by German soldiers after his Handley Page plane was shot down near Bruges

Ypres Salient, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Authors image. Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery

Grave I.B.15 Lieutenant Harold Jeffrey McConnell. Observer. 5th Royal Irish Rifles attached 98 Squadron RAF. Age 24. KIA 31 May 1918. Son of the late William and Mary McConnell, of Spokane, Washington, U.S.A., and Co. Down, Ireland. He was flying as observer in an Airco DH9, B7657, taking off from Coudekerque Airfield located about two miles south of Dunkirk. The aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Brugge. He was originally posted as Missing in Action. He was buried in Waregem Cemetery and his body was exhumed by the Americans in June 1922 and reburied in Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery. His pilot is buried in Bedford House Cemetery Grave Encl No.4 X.C.3 Captain Gifford Davidge Horton. He was also from the USA. https://www.theypressalient.com/post/bedford-house


Grave I.B.20 2nd Lieutenant Richard Dutton. 48 Squadron RFC. Observer. KIA 19.8.17. He joined the Royal Fusiliers as a Private and landed in France on the 14 November 1915. He later undertook training with the RFC as an observer. He was flying in a Bristol F2b, A7171, as observer, the pilot was 2nd Lt H.R. Hart-Davies, over Ostende when they were driven down by two enemy aircraft. Hart-Davies was wounded in the action and Dutton killed. He was buried in Oudenberg Cemetery and exhumed after the Armistice and reburied at Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery. The victory was claimed by Leutnant Walter Brachwitz of Jasta 17. He joined Jasta 17 on 8 July 1917 and had two victories before being wounded in action and subsequently dying of his wounds on 23 December 1917.


Ypres Salient, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Authors image. Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery



Grave I.B.18 Lieutenant James Campbell Sorley. 213 Squadron RAF. Age 25. KIA 25.9.18. Son of James and Margaret McLauchlan Sorley, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Native of Carleton Co. He was flying a Sopwith Camel, D3360, and attacked an enemy aircraft northwest of Roulers. He was killed in this action with the victory claimed by Leutnant Paul Achilles of Marine-Feld Jasta V. Achilles commanded MFJV from September 1918 to the Armistice. He is credited with nine victories, one of which was a balloon on 26 October 1918.






Ypres Salient, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Authors image. Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery

Grave I.B.12 2nd Lieutenant Frederick William Gibbes. Pilot. 54 Squadron RFC. KIA 13.10.17. He was an Australian from Yarralumla, Canberra. He was flying a Sopwith Pup, B1800, on 13 October 1917. At 06.45 he left Teteghem aerodrome on an offensive patrol to St-Cappelle-Zarren; he was seen in combat before being shot down over Zarren. Leutnant Erwin Böhme of Jasta 2 was credited with the victory, the 18th of his eventual 24


Ypres Salient, Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Leutnant Erwin Bohme

Leutnant Erwin Bohme was born in Holzminden on 28 July 1879. Both studious and athletic, he became a champion swimmer, proficient ice skater, and expert skier, as well as an alpinist. After serving his mandated military service in 1899, and earning a civil engineering degree, he moved to Switzerland for three years of mountaineering. He became interested in Africa. Walking solo, he crossed the Alps southward to Italy; there he took ship for German East Africa. From 1908 to 1914, Böhme completed a six-year employment contract on a timber plantation in Tanganyika where he oversaw construction of the Usambara Railway to export raw cedar timber to the Hubertus Mill in Germany. In July 1914, contract ended, Böhme sailed to Europe for an alpine holiday. He disembarked into World War I. Despite being 35 years old, he immediately returned to his old infantry unit, then trained as a pilot.


After serving in a bomber unit, he was transferred to Germany's first fighter squadron Jagdstaffel 2. During Böhme's combat career, he was a friend and eventual subordinate to Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. He was also friend, subordinate, and wingman to Germany's leading ace of the time, Oswald Boelcke. Böhme was inadvertently responsible for Boelcke's death on 28 October 1916. Although haunted by guilt, Böhme carried on, becoming a 24-victory ace (and a squadron leader). He also found heart for courtship via correspondence. Erwin Böhme was killed in action on 29 November 1917, a month after his betrothal, while leading his squadron into combat. He died five days after receiving notice that he had won the German Empire's highest award for valour, the Pour le Merite. In 1930, his edited collected letters were published as Letters From a German Fighter Pilot to a Young Maiden.


Ypres Salient, Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, Battlefield Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Authors image. Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery

Grave I.B.11 2nd Lieutenant Henry Thomas Batson. 10th Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) attached 48 Squadron RFC. Observer. Age 28. KIA 11.9.17. Son of Thomas and Ellen Batson, of Croydon. He was flying as the observer in a Bristol F2b, A7187, piloted by Serjeant William Roebuck, he is listed on the Arras Flying Services Memorial. They were escorting DH4s which were engaged in bombing Brugge. They were shot down by Leutnant von Gotz of Marine-Feld Jasta I near Wynendache. Leutnant Friedrich von Gotz joined MFJI on 15 august 1917. He held the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class. This was his only victory as he was to be killed in action on 11 September 1917 at 7pm near Shoore.





Ypres Salient, Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, Battlefields Belgium, WW1, Flanders
Authors image. Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery



Grave I.A.11 2nd Lieutenant Henry George Pike. 65 Squadron RAF. Age 20. KIA 30.8.18. Son of Mrs. L. E. Pike, of The Elms, 173 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common, London. He is listed on the Arras Flying Services Memorial however; recent research has shown that Second Lieutenant Pike is buried here. He was flying a Sopwith Camel, D9482, when he was shot down by Vizeflugmeister Hans Goerth of Marine-Feld Jasta III. Pike was one of seven victories recorded by Goerth who was also awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class.






Grave I.A.14 Lieutenant Ross Cornford. Pilot. 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment attached 22 Squadron RFC. Age 20. KIA 17.8.17. Son of Edith Ann Cornford, of Wayside, Burcot, Bromsgrove, and the late Thomas Day Cornford. Native of Faversham, Kent. Grave I.A.15 2nd Lieutenant Sydney Ernest Raper. 6 Battalion Seaforth Highlanders attached 22 Squadron RFC (Observer). Age 21. KIA 17.8.17. Son of Albert Edward and Lily Elizabeth Raper, 23 Hill Street, Peckham, London. They were flying in a Bristol F2b, A7162, when they were shot down in flames near Handzaeme. They were both exhumed from the German Military Cemetery at Cortemarck and reburied here.


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