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The cemetery was used continuously between 9 June 1915 and 5 August 1917, with the 62nd, 16th, 9th, 11th, 129th and 130th Field Ambulances successively having dressing stations close by. Throughout this period, the village was just within range of the German artillery and a two collective graves in Plot 2, Row E, contain the remains of 41 men of the 3rd Bn. Monmouthshire Regiment killed on parade on 29 December 1915 by a single shell fired from a naval gun in Houthulst Forest. The graves in Plot 3 run in order of date of death and show the successive occupations of Elverdinghe Chateau by the 38th (Welsh) Division, the Guards Division and units of the Royal Artillery.

The cemetery contains 408 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 6 of which are unidentified, and three German war graves.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Cemetery Location

Ferme-Olivier Cemetery is located 7 kilometres north west of Ieper town centre on the Steentjesmolenstraat, N333, a road leading from the N8 Veurnseweg connecting Ieper to Elverdinge and on to Veurne. From Ieper town centre the Veurnseweg (N8) is reached via Elverdingsestraat, then turning right onto Haiglaan. Veurnseweg is a continuation of Haiglaan. On reaching the village of Elverdinge the Steentjesmolenstraat, N333, is the second left hand turning. The cemetery lies 1.3 kilometres along the Steentjesmolenstraat on the left hand side of the road.

Shot at Dawn

There are two men buried here who were shot at dawn.

8139 Private George Watkins, Plot 3, Row C, Grave 12. 13th (2nd Rhondda Pals) Welsh Regiment, 114th Brigade, 38th Welsh Division. He was a reservist, originally enlisted in 1904, who was recalled to the colours at the outbreak of war. He was twice wounded in 1915. He deserted in the Salient in December 1916 and was caught in March 1917. At his court martial he pleaded family troubles had caused him to absent himself. Despite his length of service and unblemished record he was executed in May 1917.

23726 Private Robert Hope, Age 23, Plot 3, Row G, Grave 12. Husband of Mrs. Hope, of 9 Moehans Row, Waterside, Londonderry. He enlisted as Hepple, which is the name on his headstone, ‘D’ Company, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 87th Brigade, 29th Division. He had seen service at Gallipoli only a few weeks before the battalion was evacuated in December 1915 during the Allied withdrawal. He deserted near Arras in 1917 and was court martialled when his battalion moved to the Salient. He was executed on 5 July 1917.


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