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The German Uhlan Cavalry occupied the area in early October 1914 before retreating. A deciding factor in their retreat was the arrival of the French 87th and 89th Territorial Divisions, with the 89th division being deployed between Vlamertinghe and Reninghelst. By February 1915 the sector had been handed over to the British.

Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery was started by French troops in 1914 and was taken over by Commonwealth forces in April 1915. It was used by fighting units and field ambulances until June 1917, when the land adjoining the cemetery was claimed for a military railway preventing further extension. The cemetery is remarkable for the care with which men of the same unit were buried side by side if they died at about the same time. There is also a very high proportion of graves of Territorial units, in particular Lancashire Territorials, who have nearly 250 graves in plots IV, V and VI. During the early months of 1917, whenever it was possible, the 55th Division brought their dead from the front for burial here.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Cemetery Location

Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery is located 5 Kms west of Ieper town centre, on the Hospitaalstraat, which is a road leading from the Poperingseweg (connecting Ieper to Poperinge). From Ieper town centre the Poperingseweg (N308), is reached via Elverdingsestraat then straight over two small roundabouts in the J. Capronstraat. The Poperingseweg is a continuation of J. Capronstraat and begins after a prominent railway level crossing. On reaching the village of Vlamertinge ( Vlamertinge is the modern spelling of Vlamertinghe) the cemetery is located on the Hospitaalstraat, which is the second right turning after the village church. The cemetery lies 50 metres along the Hospitaalstraat on the right hand side of the road.

Shot at Dawn

There are two men who were executed during the War and are buried here.

29219 Driver Alexander Lamb, Grave II.E.12 21st Battery, 2nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He was part of a draft for the 21st Battery and he deserted on 19 October 1914 when he landed at Boulogne and was not captured until 19 June 1915 in Calais. He had been living with a woman. It was three months before he was brought to trial and he was executed in the Vlamertinghe on 2 October 1915.

12923 Private Albert Rickman, Age 27, Grave IV.D.7 The son of Charles and Anne Rickman, of 4 Carrington Terrace, Milford-on-Sea, Hants.1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 86th Brigade, 29th Division. He deserted on 2 July 1916 after he had taken part in the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was caught on 20 July 1916 and was tried in September 1916, when his Battalion had moved to the Salient, and was executed on 15 September 1916.

His execution is recorded in the battalion War Diary.

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