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Strand Military Cemetery

Updated: Jun 6, 2021


The Australian Central Dressing Station 'Charing Cross' was the name given by the troops to this location. Nearby was a trench called Broadway that ended at Dead Horse Corner, just north of Piccadilly Circus at the end of a trench called the Strand, which was a major route for troops moving eastward through Ploegsteert Wood. In October 1914, two burials were made at this place, close to an Advanced Dressing Station. The cemetery was not used between October 1914 and April 1917, but in April-July 1917 Plots I to VI were completed when 351 graves were added 232 of which are Australian. Plots VII to X were made after the Armistice, when graves were brought in from some small cemeteries and from the battlefields lying mainly between Wytschaete and Armentieres. The cemetery was in German hands for a few months in 1918, but was very little used by them. The Charing Cross Dressing Station itself is still in place and is used as a part aviary and part tool shed by the farmer on whose land it stands. The cemetery was named the Australian Cemetery, only acquiring its current name The Strand following the grave concentrations here after the Armistice.

The Australian Dressing Station today


One of the Australian burials is that of Lance Corporal Herbert Prior, 34th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force was commemorated on 7 June 2002. Research indicated that he was ‘Believed to be Buried in the cemetery’ as his headstone indicates. He had been killed in Bunhill Row on 10 June 1917 during a German bombardment. He had been taken to the Charing Cross Dressing Station plot and buried, but his grave was lost in subsequent artillery bombardments.


Cemeteries concentrated here

The following are some of the burial grounds concentrated into Strand Military Cemetery:- EPINETTE ROAD CEMETERY, HOUPLINES (Nord), on the Southern outskirts of Houplines village, contained the graves of 24 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in November 1914-September 1915. LA BASSE-VILLE GERMAN CEMETERY, WARNETON (West Flanders), on the road from La Basse-Ville to Warneton, contained the graves of 68 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from South Africa who died in German hands, April-August 1918. LE BIZET CONVENT MILITARY CEMETERY, PLOEGSTEERT, was in the grounds of the Assumptionist Convent between Le Bizet and Motor Car Corner. It contained the graves of 88 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Canada who fell in October 1914-October,1916. NACHTEGAAL No.1 GERMAN CEMETERY, MERCKEM (West Flanders), midway between Merckem and Houthulst, made in April,1916, contained the graves of two R.F.C. officers who fell in June 1917. It was closed in July 1917. PLOEGSTEERT WOOD NEW CEMETERY, WARNETON, in the South-East corner of the wood, contained the graves of 19 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the loss and recapture of Le Gheer, October 1914. PROWSE POINT LOWER CEMETERY, WARNETON, was a little North of Ploegsteert Wood. It was made by the 1st Rifle Brigade, and it contained the graves of 13 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1915 and 1916. TOUQUET-BERTHE GERMAN CEMETERY, PLOEGSTEERT, on the road from Ploegsteert to Le Gheer, contained two unidentified R.A.F. graves of July 1918. WARNETON CHURCHYARD was destroyed in the War. It contained the grave of one soldier from the United Kingdom, buried by the Germans in December 1914.


The cemetery was designed by Charles Holden. There is one Falkirk and District man buried here.


(Q29018 British troops outside shelters the Strand 19 October 1915.)


Cemetery Location

Strand Military Cemetery is 13 Kms south of Ieper town centre, on the Rijselseweg N365, which connects Ieper to Wijtschate, Mesen and on to Armentieres. From Ieper town centre the Rijselsestraat runs from the market square, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and directly over the crossroads with the Ieper ring road. The road name then changes to the Rijselseweg. The cemetery lies on the N365, 4 Kms beyond Mesen and immediately before the village of Ploegsteert on the left hand side of the road.


FALKIRK AND DISTRICT MEN BURIED HERE


Stenhousemuir

2344 Private Andrew Kidd Chesney

‘B’ Company 7th Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

Age 21

29.3.15

VIII.I.7

Son of Andrew & Elizabeth Chesney, 2 Munro Street, Stenhousemuir


Burials

There are now 1,143 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. Of these burials 354 are unidentified but there are Special Memorials to six casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to 13 whose graves in four of the concentrated cemeteries were destroyed by shell fire. The eight Second World War burials (three of which are unidentified) all date from May 1940 and the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary force to Dunkirk ahead of the German advance.


UK – 725

Australian – 284

New Zealand – 87

Canadian – 26

South African – 1

German – 11

Unnamed – 356

WWII – 8 British

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