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PERTH CEMETERY (CHINA WALL)


The cemetery was begun by French troops in November 1914 (the French graves were removed after the Armistice) and adopted by the 2nd Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 23rd Brigade, 8th Division in June 1917. It was called Perth (as the predecessors of the 2nd Scottish Rifles were raised in Perth), China Wall (from the communication trench known as the Great Wall of China), or Halfway House Cemetery. The cemetery was used for front line burials until October 1917 when it occupied about half of the present Plot I and contained 130 graves. There is one Falkirk and District man buried here.


The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.


Cemeteries concentrated here

It was not used again until after the Armistice, when graves were brought in from the battlefields around Ypres and from the following smaller cemeteries:


BECELAERE GERMAN CEMETERY No.1 (246th RESERVE INFANTRY REGIMENT), close to Becelaere Church, contained about 500 German and two British burials. BELGIAN CHATEAU CEMETERY, VLAMERTINGHE, in the grounds of a chateau 2 Kms South-West of Ypres. It contained the graves of 12 soldiers from the United Kingdom, 11 from Canada, and one French soldier, dating from 1914 to 1917 BROODSEINDE GERMAN CEMETERIES, ZONNEBEKE. These contained the graves of 27 British soldiers, who fell mainly in 1914. Broodseinde gave its name to the Battle of the 4th October 1917; and the Memorial of the 7th Division, which fought here in 1914 and 1917, is a little South of the hamlet on the road to Becelaere. DURHAM CEMETERY, ZILLEBEKE, at the North end of the village, was used from December 1915 to March 1916. It contained the graves of 52 soldiers from the United Kingdom, 39 of whom belonged to Territorial battalions of the Durham Light Infantry.

GARTER POINT CEMETERY, ZONNEBEKE, on the road from Zonnebeke to Westhoek, was used from September 1917 to April 1918, and contained the graves of 19 soldiers from Australia, eight from the United Kingdom, one from New Zealand, three of unknown units, and one German GORDON HOUSE CEMETERY No.2, ZILLEBEKE, at Gordon House, contained the graves of 30 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1915 and 1917. HANS KIRCHNER GERMAN CEMETERY, POELCAPELLE, 1.6 Kms South-East of Poelcapelle village, contained the graves of four soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October 1914. HOUTHULST GERMAN CEMETERY, at the East end of the village, contained the graves of about 1,000 German soldiers and one R.F.C. Officer.

KEERSELAERE WEST GERMAN CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, a little West of the Zonnebeke-Langemarck road, contained the graves of 29 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell mainly in October 1914. KEERSELAERHOEK GERMAN CEMETERY, PASSCHENDAELE, about 180 metres North-East of Tyne Cot Cemetery, contained the graves of twelve soldiers from the United Kingdom and two from Canada who fell in 1914 and 1915. LANGEMARCK GERMAN CEMETERY No.7 (also known as TOTENWALDCHEN), 1.6 Kms North-West of the village, contained the graves of four soldiers from the United Kingdom. LANGEMARCK GERMAN CEMETERY No.8, just beyond the railway on the road to Houthulst, contained the graves of 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October 1914. L'EBBE FARM CEMETERY, POPERINGHE, about 1.6 Kms North-West of the town, contained the graves of 21 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1915 and 1918. MANNEKEN FARM GERMAN CEMETERY No.3, ZARREN, in the South-East part of Houthulst Forest, contained the graves of about 700 Germans and 13 British soldiers who fell in 1917. MANOR ROAD CEMETERY, ZILLEBEKE, at the railway halt 800 metres South-West of Zillebeke village. It contained the graves of 17 soldiers of the United Kingdom (mainly Royal Field Artillery) who fell in 1917 and 1918. NACHTIGALL (or ROSSIGNOL, or VIEUX-CHIEN) GERMAN CEMETERY, GHELUVELT, 800 metres North of the Rossignol Cabaret on the Menin Road (near the hamlet of Vieux-Chien), contained the graves of 1,130 German soldiers and 69 from the United Kingdom, most of whom fell in September-October 1915. POELCAPELLE GERMAN CEMETERY No.2, about 1.6 Kms South-East of the village, contained the graves of 96 soldiers from the United Kingdom and Canada who fell in 1914 and 1915. POELCAPELLE GERMAN CEMETERY No.3, 800 metres South of the village, contained the graves of 23 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 19 from Canada who fell in 1914 and 1915. RATION DUMP BURIAL GROUND, ZILLEBEKE, on the road a little South of Gordon House, contained the graves of 28 soldiers from the United Kingdom (mainly London Scottish and Liverpool Scottish) and one from Canada. REUTEL GERMAN CEMETERY, BECELAERE, on the North side of the Reutel-Zwaanhoek road, contained a very large number of German graves and 125 soldiers and airmen from the United Kingdom, two Canadian soldiers and one from New Zealand, who fell in 1914-1917. ST. JOSEPH GERMAN CEMETERY, HOOGHLEDE, on the North side of the hamlet of Geite or St. Joseph, contained the graves of four airmen from the United Kingdom who fell in 1918. ST. JULIEN COMMUNAL CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, contained the graves of six soldiers of the 14th Canadian Battalion who fell in April 1915. ST. JULIEN EAST GERMAN CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, on the Langemarck-Zonnebeke road, contained the graves of 65 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 31 from Canada who fell in October 1914 and April 1915. SCHREIBOOM GERMAN CEMETERY, 800 metres East of Langemarck village, contained the graves of 34 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October 1914. TRANSPORT FARM ANNEXE, ZILLEBEKE, 180 metres South of the South-West corner of Zillebeke Lake, and a little East of Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm), contained the graves of 27 soldiers from the United Kingdom (16 of whom belonged to the 1st Dorsets) who fell in November 1914-June 1915. TRENCH RAILWAY CEMETERY, ZILLEBEKE, on the West side of the hamlet of Verbrandenmolen, contained the graves of 21 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1915 and 1916.TREURNIET GERMAN CEMETERY, POELCAPELLE, on the road from Poelcapelle village to the railway station, contained the grave of one Canadian soldier. WALLEMOLEN GERMAN CEMETERY, PASSCHENDAELE, 180 metres South of the hamlet of Wallemolen, contained the graves of 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 15 from Canada who fell in 1915.WEIDENDREFT GERMAN CEMETERY, LANGEMARCK, at Weidendreft Farm, used by the Germans from October 1914 to August 1915, contained the graves of 98 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the Battles of Ypres, 1914. WESTROOSEBEKE GERMAN CEMETERY No.2, 366 metres North-East of the village on the road to Hooghlede, contained the grave of one R.A.F. Officer who fell in August 1918


Cemetery Location

Perth Cemetery (China Wall) is located 3 Kms east of Ieper town centre, on the Maaldestedestraat, a road leading from the Meenseweg (N8), connecting Ieper to Menen. From Ieper town centre the Meenseweg is located via Torhoutstraat and right onto Basculestraat. Basculestraat ends at a main crossroads, directly over which begins the Meenseweg. 1.7 Kms along the Meenseweg at a major roundabout lies the right hand turning onto the Maaldestedestraat. The cemetery itself is located 1 Km along the Maaldestedestraat on the left hand side of the road.


Master of Belhaven and China Wall

Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. Ralph Gerald Alexander Hamilton. Master of Belhaven, was in command of a Royal Field Artillery Battery located near the Lille Gate in 1916. On the 31 January he wrote of the Lille Gate: ‘..The officers’ mess is actually in the Lille Gate, a most curious place. It must be about sixteenth century and was evidently the old guard-room. It is vaulted rooms, or rather three rooms, with no windows, except a few slits, looking out over the moat. The battery is just the other side of the moat. We get to it through a tunnel (the Sally Port) in the ramparts, and across a small wooden footbridge which is known as ‘Pip-squeak Bridge,’ as it is always being shelled by shrapnel.


On the 9th February, he wrote that he was looking for a new Observation Post (O.P.). His previous O.P. had been the target of German shelling on 4th February with 150 shells landing within 50 yards of the O.P. dugout. ‘This afternoon I took Perry to look for a new O.P., and found two excellent ones; one in Gordon House and the other in the sandbag wall. We had a quick walk down the railway and were not shot at all, for once. The sandbag wall is a great wall of sandbags half a mile long, with traverses every few yards. It reminds one of the Great Wall of China at Shan-hai-kwan!


Shot at Dawn

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

3/1433 Private George Ernest Roe, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 13th Brigade, 5th Division. Age 19. Grave VI.K.20. He was the son of Mrs. Mary Roe, of 24, Brough Street, Sheffield, Yorks. He deserted after the fighting at Hill 60 in April/May 1915. He claimed at his Court martial that he had lost his nerve and was suffering from shock and this was supported by his commanding Officer. He was not defended at the trial. He was found guilty of desertion and executed by a firing party from the 1st Battalion, Royal West Kents at 5.00am at Dickebusch Huts and buried at Huts Cemetery, Dickebusch on 11 June 1915 and was moved here after the Armistice.





L/10132 Private Thomas Harris, 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 13th Brigade, 5th Division. Age 21. Grave V.K.14 He deserted in August 1914 following the battle of Le Cateau. He made his way to Paris where he lived with an English family for nine months posing as a Military Policeman on the lookout for deserters! He was arrested by the British Military Police and taken back to his Battalion, now in Belgium. He was tried at Dickebusch and sentenced to death. He was executed for desertion on 21 June 1915 by a firing party from the 4th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment.






11559 Private Thomas Docherty, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Scottish borderers, 13th Brigade, 5th Division. Grave VI.E.3. He deserted in March 1915 whilst his Battalion were in the Hill 60 area. At his Court Martial he claimed that as a result of a shell exploding close to him he lost his memory and had wandered off. His commanding Officer spoke of him being well behaved and not particularly intelligent but not a troublemaker. The Court, in all probability realised that after three months on the run, which would have taken conscious decisions to avoid capture, that his claims of memory loss were not credible. He was executed on 15 July 1915.





12295 Corporal Frederick Ives. 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, 7th Brigade, 3rd Division Age 30. Grave I.G.41 He was the son of Mr and Mrs Ives. He was already on remand for a previous offence when he deserted the trenches that were under fire on 5 September 1914. He avoided capture until 24 June 1915 when he was arrested by a Sergeant Dyce in Gournay-en-Bray, where he was caught wearing civilian clothes. He was escorted back to his Battalion. At his trial he claimed that he had lost his memory when he deserted and had intended to give himself up and that during the time of his absence he had worked in an ammunition factory, he produced no evidence of this nor did he try to give himself up. He was sentenced to death and surprisingly with a recommendation of clemency. This was rejected by the review chain. He was executed and buried with Private Fellows at a farm near Ypres owned by Marcel Coene but was moved here after the Armistice.


9722 Private Ernest Fellows. 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, 7th Brigade, 3rd Division Age 29. Grave V.K.13. He was the son of James and Emma Fellows, of 65, Moseley Rd., Birmingham; husband of Mary Annie Crosby (formerly Fellows), of 5 Court, 5 House, Dymoke St., Birmingham. He deserted from a camp at Vlamertinghe on 15 June 1915 after the Battalion were issued with ammunition for an attack the next day. He and another member of his Battalion, Private Bert Hartells, were discovered missing at 5pm that day. They remained on the run until arrested on 8 July at Hondeghem still wearing their uniforms but had discarded their weapons. They were sent for Court Martial and tried individually however, their evidence was identical. They both claimed, in their own defence, that it was as a result of getting drunk they had deserted. They were found guilty and sentenced to death.


Both Corporal Frederick Ives and Private Ernest Fellows were among a group of five men from the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, 7th Brigade, 3rd Division, who were executed at the ramparts and buried at Ramparts Cemetery in Ypres on 26 July 1915. The three others are buried at Aeroplane Cemetery. They had deserted in late 1914 early 1915, and were executed. Ives and Fellows graves were moved here after the Armistice.


11653 Private Evan Fraser, 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots, 8th Brigade, 3rd Division. Age 19. Special Memorial C.8. He first deserted in February 1915 when his Battalion was in the line at Vierstraat. He was captured and sentenced to death commuted to ten years suspended. He went absent on 24 May 1915 from a camp at La Clytte and was recaptured with false papers that attempted to show that he was on a pass to visit his brother. He was returned to his Battalion under guard but escaped and was recaptured on 19 June 1915. Whilst his Battalion was in Vlamertinghe he deserted for the last time and was recaptured and again returned to his Battalion under guard for his Court martial that took place on 13th July at Brandhoek. He was cleared of one charge of desertion, found guilty of forging a pass, and on two counts of desertion. He was not defended during his trial nor did he address the Court. During the review of his case and sentence in the chain of command one count of desertion was changed to AWOL and another to attempted desertion but his sentence was not altered and he was executed on 2 August 1915.


10315 Private Louis R Phillips, 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, 43rd Brigade, 14th (Light) Division. Age 23. Grave VI.K.1 He was the son of Mr and Mrs Phillips, Caistor. At his Court Martial he claimed mental instability and that he was worried about his family from whom he had not heard from in some time. He was executed at 4.20am on 19 August 1915 at The Ramparts. He was the first Jewish soldier to be executed. His grave was brought here after the armistice.

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