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New Irish Farm Cemetery

Updated: Oct 21, 2023


New Irish Farm Cemetery. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Battlefields Belgium
Authors Images. New Irish Farm Cemetery

New Irish Farm Cemetery was first used from August to November 1917 and was named after a nearby farm, known to the troops as 'Irish Farm' (originally there was an Irish Farm Cemetery immediately South of the Farm. New Irish Farm Cemetery is about 300 metres North of the Farm at a crossing once known as Hammond's Corner). Hill Top Farm, on Buffs Road by the crossroads, was, by 1917, just a series of trenches. A tree, on the edge of a trench was hollowed out and lined with steel and used as an artillery observation post to fire onto the German trenches. The 39th Division attacked through Hill Top Farm on the first day of Third Ypres.


The cemetery was used again in April and May 1918 and at the Armistice it contained just 73 burials - the three irregular rows of Plot I - but was then greatly enlarged when more than 4,500 graves were brought in from the battlefields north-east of Ypres (now Ieper) and from the following smaller cemeteries:


ADMIRAL's CEMETERY, BOESINGHE, at the junction of Admiral's Road and Boundary Road, near No Man's Cottage. It was named from a sailor long attached to the 6th Division. It contained the graves of 19 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1917 and 1918. CANOPUS TRENCH CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, a little South-West of St. Julien, containing the graves of 12 men of the 1st/5th Gloucesters who fell in August 1917.

COMEDY FARM CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, a little South-East of Langemarck village, near the Steenbeek. It contained the graves of 29 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in July-September 1917. CROSSROADS CEMETERY, ST. JEAN, two groups of graves at the crossroads in St. Jean village, containing the graves of 19 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in June and July 1915. FERDINAND FARM CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, near the Steenbeek, half-way between St. Julien and Langemarck. It contained the graves of 15 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in August-October 1917.

FRANCOIS FARM CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, near a farm 1.6 Kms East of Pilckem, containing the graves of 23 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in July-October 1917. FUSILIER FARM CEMETERY, BOESINGHE, a little West of the Ypres-Pilckem road, containing the graves of 17 men of the 38th (Welsh) Division who fell on 31st July 1917.

GLIMPSE COTTAGE CEMETERY, BOESINGHE, 250 metres North-West of Fusilier Farm Road Cemetery, containing the graves of 18 men of the 38th (Welsh) division who fell in July and August 1917. IRISH FARM CEMETERY, ST. JEAN, immediately South of the Farm. It was begun by the 1st Royal Fusiliers in May 1915, and used until September 1915, and, at intervals, until January 1918. It contained the graves of 54 soldiers from the United Kingdom. LA MITERIE GERMAN CEMETERY, LOMME, a little North of the hamlet of La Miterie, containing the graves of eight soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell early in September 1918. MIRFIELD CEMETERY, BOESINGHE, by Mirfield Trench, 300 metres west of Fusilier Farm, containing the graves of 16 soldiers from the United Kingdom (all but one of the 51st (Highland) Division) who fell in June-August 1917. PARATONNIERS FARM CEMETERY, BOESINGHE, a Belgian Military Cemetery, 800 metres South of Lizerne village, containing the graves of 13 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in December 1917-March 1918. PILCKEM ROAD CEMETERY, BOESINGHE, 300 metres North-West of Fusilier Farm, containing the graves of 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom, (18 of the 1st/5th Gordons) who fell in July-August 1917. ST. JEAN CHURCHYARD, containing the graves of 44 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in May-December 1915. SPREE FARM CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, 800 metres South-East of St. Julien, containing the graves of 14 soldiers from the United Kingdom and three from New Zealand who fell in August and October 1917. VANHEULE FARM CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, 800 metres South-West of St. Julien, containing the graves of 22 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from New Zealand who fell in August and October 1917. YORKSHIRE CEMETERY, ZOUAVE VILLA, ST. JEAN, 200 metres East of the Ypres-Pilckem road, containing the graves of 22 men of the 6th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who fell in January and February 1916, and two of the 6th East Yorks who fell in August 1917.


The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

New Irish Farm Cemetery. Ypres. Battlefields, Belgium, Flanders
Authors image. New Irish Farm Cemetery

Cemetery Location

New Irish Farm Cemetery. Ypres Salient. Linesman. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders Fields
New Irish Farm Cemetery Linesman Map.

The cemetery is located to the north-east of the town of Ieper. From the station turn left and follow along M.Fochlaan to the roundabout. Turn right and at the next roundabout turn left into M.Haiglaan. Follow along this road to the traffic lights and at the lights turn right in the direction of Kortrijk (A19). Follow along the expressway to the next set of lights. At these lights turn left into Pilkemseweg, then take the first right into Zwaanhofweg, a small country road. Follow this road to the crossroads and the cemetery is on your right.

New Irish Farm Cemetery. Ypres. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Authors Image. New Irish Farm Cemetery.

Lieutenant Charles Lindsay Claude Bowes-Lyon Grave XXX. D. 11 - was a 29 year old junior officer in the 3rd Battalion and attached to the 1st Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), 1st Brigade, 1st Division. He was the son of the Hon. Francis and Lady Anne Bowes-Lyon, of Ridley Hall, Bardon Mill, Northumberland and a cousin of the future Queen Mother. He was wounded during the Aisne fighting in September 1914. On recovering from his wounds he rejoined the battalion which was resting in the Pilkem area. The Cameron Highlanders, from the 1st Brigade, were acting as flank guards to the French and they had posted a strong guard in the Kortekeer Cabaret area, a small inn at the crossroads on the Langemarck – Bixschoote road. This was coming under increasing pressure from German attacks. On the 22nd October the Highlanders and a detail of Coldstream Guards were overrun. The 1st Battalion Black Watch, leaving their ‘C’ Company as small defensive picket, set off to restore the situation at the crossroads. Lieutenant Bowes-Lyon was in ‘A’ Company commanded by Captain Edward F. M. Urquhart, a 37 year old son of an Edinburgh clergyman. The Black Watch supported by dismounted French cyclists took positions along the Steenbeek and dug in. On the 23rd October 2nd Brigade counter-attacked and re-took Kortekeer Cabaret. In the early hours of the 24th October the Germans mounted numerous counter-attacks which were repulsed with heavy losses on both sides. On the evening of the 24th October the Black Watch were relieved by French troops and headed back to the Pilkem area taking the bodies of Lieutenant Bowes-Lyon and Captain Urquhart with them. They were both buried in the Boesinghe churchyard. Boesinghe churchyard was subjected to heavy shelling and many graves lost however, the remains of both these men were identified after the war. Both families were contacted and asked if they would like the bodies to remain in the churchyard or transferred to a war cemetery. Captain Urquhart’s next of kin chose the churchyard and Lieutenant Bowes-Lyon’s next of kin chose the war cemetery. He was reburied in New Irish House cemetery.


Canadian Railway Troops

During preparation for the Messines and third Ypres offensives of 1917, the 2nd Battalion Canadian Railway Troops were busy in the area. Tracks were laid to service the many gun positions in the area as well as to move supplies and men forward. The men worked under constant shell and gas attacks laying line as well as constantly having to repair lines damaged by enemy fire.


New Irish Farm Cemetery. Ypres Salient. Linesman. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Map showing railway links. Linesman Map. New Irish Farm Cemetery


2nd Battalion Leinster Regiment

Writing in ‘Stand To’ A Diary of the Trenches 1915 – 1918. Captain F. C Hitchcock M.C. of the 2nd Battalion Leinster Regiment wrote on the 6th June 1915: ‘Our support line ran from a point 300 yards west of Irish Farm and back towards St Jean.’ On the 7th June he was engaged in building dug outs and wrote: ‘Got my platoon making dug-outs, as the only cover they had were ‘funk-holes’ cut out of the trenches, or sheets of corrugated iron spread across the parapets, with sand-bags on top to keep them from blowing away! We got doors and rafters from Irish Farm. Daly climbed up on the roof and started taking down a window shutter which looked due north, towards the Hun lines. He was spotted instantly, and we were shelled heavily for an hour with ‘Black Marias’ and ‘Jack Johnsons….After the smoke and debris of one shell had cleared away, Daly emerged from the farm gate with a shutter on his shoulder!


New Irish Military Cemetery, Linesman Map. Ypres. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Map showing British and German lines October 1915. (Linesman Map)

On the 8th June her wrote: ‘Scrounging round, the men discovered a field of potatoes near Irish Farm. Naturally, this was a great attraction, especially to Irish troops. At all hours of the day the men used to get out behind the trench and dig for national fodder.’ This was a hazardous activity especially in day light and it resulted in two casualties which he recalls in his entry for 8th June: ‘..as ill-luck would have it, one solitary crump landed beside them, killing one, No.4734 Pte. Halligan, and missing his companion completely. I got our stretcher-bearers and hurried off to the potato patch, where we found the terribly mangled body of Halligan lying on the brink of a smoking shell crater. Both his legs and one arm had been blown off. He was of course, killed instantaneously, while his companion was absolutely unscathed, except for concussion and slight bleeding from the ears!

La Brique Military Cemetery No.1. Ypres. Battlefields Belgium, Flanders
Authors Image. La Brique Military Cemetery No.1

4734 Private John Halligan, ‘B’ Company, 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment, age 19, is buried at La Brique Military Cemetery No.1. Grave B.6A. He was the son of John and Kate Halligan, of Church St., Trim, Co. Meath.

















FALKIRK AND DISTRICT MEN BURIED HERE


Denny & Dunipace

3617 Pte T Conroy

2nd Battalion Leinster Regiment

2.8.15

Special Memorial 18

Brother of Patrick Conroy, 35 Herbertshire Street, Denny


Burials

There are now 4,719 commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 3,271 of the burials are unidentified (75% of the total), but special memorials commemorate four casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 30 casualties buried in four of the cemeteries removed to New Irish Farm whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.


UK – 4272

Australian – 54

New Zealand – 23

Canadian – 254

New Foundland – 3

South African – 6

British West Indies – 1

India – 5

Known unto God – 12

German – 1

Chinese Labour Corps – 7

Unnamed 3267


A Burial Service on 9 October 2019

A burial service for two Unknown Soldiers of The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) from the First World War took place on 9 October, at New Irish Farm Cemetery.


The two soldiers were found alongside twenty-two other casualties during groundwork at a development near Briekestraat, near Ypres. This is thought to be the site of the original Irish Farm Cemetery, which had been created during the war. It had previously been believed that the soldiers had been transferred to New Irish Farm Cemetery following the end of the war.


Research suggested that the casualties may have been two of four soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) who are commemorated on the Menin Gate, however DNA testing failed to provide a conclusive result. Of the remaining three soldiers, two are known to have been from The Essex Regiment. They were buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery on 5 November 2019.

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