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Westoutre Churchyard and Extension


The cemetery and extension is located in the village of Westoutre (now Westouter) which remained in Allied hands from the early months of the First World War to the Armistice. There were many camps in the area as this was predominantly a rest area. From the summer of 1918, after the Battles of the Lys, it was within 2.4 Kms of the front line.


During First Ypres the 1st Battalion Black Watch had played their part in the fighting north of Langemark and on 24 October they were relieved by French troops near Kortekeer Cabaret. They headed south to the fighting on the Menin Road and to their stand at Nonne Bosschen and what became known as Black Watch Corner. On the 15 November 1914 as part of 1st Brigade they spent time in the peaceful village of Westoutre taking in much needed reinforcements, welcoming 300 men as replacements.


The 3rd Division also spent time in Westoutre after First Ypres arriving in the village on 21 November. Billy Congreve recorded in his diary: ‘At last we are being relieved – by the French – and go off to rest and get up to strength again. I believe we go to Westoutre, half-way to Bailleul.’ The 3rd Division were in the village for four days resting and recuperating and they had their headquarters in the Mont Noir Chateau with the command post located on the Scherpenberg. He wrote: ‘We are going to keep the chateau as our night headquarters and use the Scherpenberg Hill as a day headquarters. This latter is a high conical hill with a windmill and farm on top of it, and one gets an excellent view of Wytschaete, Messines and Ypres. On a real clear day, one can even see as far as the sea somewhere near Ostend.


The Royal Irish Rifles were in billets in Westoutre in January 1915 and in his diary Gerald Burgoyne, Royal Irish Rifles, wrote about the church in Westoutre being used as a billet: ‘..It’s different when troops have to be billeted in a Church, as at West Outre, but even that I believe is unnecessary. Our RC Chaplain had to stop men billeted there smoking during Mass, which he says in the Chancel..’ He also recorded in his diary of two spies being caught in Westoutre: ‘Yesterday two spies were caught in West Outre, one in a sort of khaki uniform, and six spies were caught in Kemmel last week.’

The Churchyard and Extension was used by field ambulances and fighting units at intervals from November 1914 to September 1918. The two plots of this cemetery are separated by a few yards, making them almost indistinguishable. Plot I contains twelve British burials and four Canadians and Plot II is the Extension.


Cemetery Location

Westouter Churchyard and Extension is located 12 Kms south-west of Ieper town centre, on a road leading from the N375 Dikkebusseweg. From Ieper town centre the Dikkebusseweg (N375) is located via Elverdingsestraat, straight over a roundabout onto J.Capronstraat (for 30 metres), then left along M.Fochlaan. Immediately after the train station, the first right hand turning is the Dikkebusseweg. 10 Kms along the Dikkebusseweg after passing through the villages of Dikkebus and De Klijte, lies the right hand turning onto the N315 Sulferbergstraat. 2.5 Kms along the N315 lies the village of Westouter. The churchyard is located in the centre of the village and the Commission plot is located on the far right hand side of the cemetery after entering the site.

(Linesman Map)


FALKIRK AND DISTRICT MEN BURIED HERE

Bonnybridge

159167 Sapper Robert Graham

225th Field Company, Royal Engineers

Age 34

24.9.17

II.D.9

Son of Robert & Mary Graham


Burials

It contains 98 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and three German graves.


UK – 77

Australian – 1

New Zealand – 1

Canadian – 19

German – 1

Unnamed - 1

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