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Ridge Wood Military Cemetery

Updated: May 23


Ridge Wood Cemetery, Ypres Salient, Falkirk District
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Ridge Wood was the name given to a wood standing on high ground between the Kemmel road and Dickebusch Lake. The cemetery lies in a hollow on the western side of the ridge and the position was chosen for a front line cemetery as early as May 1915. The first graves were from the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles and similar groups were made by the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Canadian Battalions and the 9th Durham Light Infantry at the times when they occupied this sector. The German advance in the spring of 1918 pushed the front line back on to the ridge, and it was not till July that the wood was finally cleared by the 6th and 33rd Divisions.


On 8 May the British line ran north from Ridge Wood to Scottish Wood when the Germans attacked the 98th and 19th Brigades, 33rd Division. The 2nd Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and 1st Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) fought heroically in defence of the ridge but were pushed back and became separated. The action of Lieutenant Liddard, Sergeant Goode and Corporal McKirdy of the Machine Gun Corps halted the German advance and allowed the 5/6th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) to counterattack and retake Ridge Wood.


(Linesman Map showing positions at 13 May 1918)


There are few burials from these last battles in the cemetery and the graves of some French divisions, which fought alongside Commonwealth forces in April and May, were removed to other burial grounds.


The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.


Cemetery Location

Ridge Wood Military cemetery is located 5 Kms south-west of Ieper town centre, on the Slijpstraat, a road leading from the Kemmelseweg (connecting Ieper to Kemmel N331). From Ieper town centre the Kemmelseweg is reached via the Rijselsestraat, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort), and straight on towards Armentieres (N365). 900 metres after the crossroads is the right hand turning onto the Kemmelseweg (made prominent by a railway level crossing). 4 Kms along the Kemmelseweg on the right hand side lies Elzenwalle Military Cemetery, which marks the junction with Slijpstraat. Ridge Wood Military Cemetery lies 1 Km along the Slijpstraat, after a small staggered crossroads.


FALKIRK AND DISTRICT MEN BURIED HERE


Ridge Wood Cemetery, Ypres Salient, Falkirk District
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Links to the area

56135 Private Alexander Carlaw Reid

19th Battalion Canadian Infantry

Age 21

10.11.15

II.L.9

Son of Allan & Margaret Reid, 7 Elizabeth Street, Hamilton, Ontario. Born at Denny


Burials

The cemetery contains 619 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.


UK- 260

Australian – 44

New Zealand – 3

Canadian – 292

German – 2

Known unto God – 20

Unnamed – 5


There are Special Memorials to two British men whose graves have been lost.

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