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Chester Farm Cemetery

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Chester Farm was the name given to a farm about 1 Km South of Blauwepoort Farm, on the road from Zillebeke to Voormezeele. The cemetery was begun in March 1915 and was used by front line troops until November 1917. Plot I contains the graves of 92 officers and men of the 2nd Manchesters, who died in April-July 1915 and there are 72 London Regiment burials elsewhere in the Cemetery.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.


Cemetery Location

Chester Farm Cemetery is located 5 kilometres south of Ieper town centre, on the Vaartstraat, a road leading from the Rijselseweg (N365) connecting Ieper to Armentieres. From Ieper town centre the Rijselseweg is located via the Rijselsestraat, through the Rijselpoort (Lille Gate) and by crossing the Ieper ring road, towards Armentieres and Lille. The road name then changes to Rijselseweg. 3 kilometres along the Rijselseweg lies the left hand turning onto the Vaartstraat. The cemetery is located 1.5 km along the Vaartstraat on the left-hand side of the road.

The map shows the location of Chester Farm alongside Middlesex Road. This was a road built by the British to link with Verlorenhoek. Today known as Vaartstraat.

(Linesman Map)


FALKIRK AND DISTRICT MEN BURIED HERE


Larbert

S/7019 Pte Robert J Heggison

1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

Age 26

29.7.15

I.E.1

Son of Richard & Jane Heggison, Burnhead Road, Larbert. Born at Torwood


Also buried here


Lieutenant Ernest Stafford Carlos

8th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), 24th Division

Age 34

14.6.17

I.K.36

Son of the late John Gregory Carlos and of Anne Chessell Carlos, of The Priory, Homesdale Rd., Bromley, Kent.


An Artist at War

There is no doubt that the vocation of an artist seemed to be the prevailing influence on the life of Ernest Carlos. He had a canvas hung in the Royal Academy, London at the age of eighteen, plus a further thirteen works displayed there in various exhibitions, including one in 1915. Ernest Carlos enlisted in the summer of 1916 and considered suitable for a commission in the infantry and joined the 8th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). He joined them when the battalion was near Vimy Ridge in the Arras area. In May 1917, they moved north to the Ypres Salient in time for the Battle of Messines in June 1917.


During this period, he painted some twenty pictures capturing the scenes he saw and included: Vimy Ridge, evening (21 April 1917), On the Track of the Hun, on the march. Lieven near Lens (April 1917), Fires Burning at Ypres (June 1917), French Farm Girl at Abeele, Poperinghe (1917), and Three Officers Playing Cards at Poperinghe (1917).


During the early stages of the Battle of Messines the 17th Brigade remained in support at St Eloi and had been ordered to move forward to the Green Line at Oosttaverne Wood. On the 8 June they were ordered back to rest at near Triangular Dump south of Battle wood and relieving the 18th London (Irish) and 3rd rifle Brigade. They were next in action on 14 June, when they attacked the German line at spoil bank, a 300 foot long, thirty-foot-high bank of spoil from the Comines Canal which ran south west from Battle Wood. The 17th Brigade would attack the right-hand sector of the bank. There was fierce hand to hand fighting before the bank was secured on 14 June. In their honour the bank was named Buffs Bank. It is not clear when Ernest Carlos was killed in action.

The map (from 13 May 1918) shows the location of Buffs Bank by the Comines Canal.

(Linesman Map)


Buffs Bank today showing remains of German dugouts and bunkers.


Burials

There are 420 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in this cemetery. Seven of the burials are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate six casualties known or believed to be buried among them.


UK- 306

Australian – 21

Canadian – 87

German - 4

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