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WHITE HOUSE CEMETERY


White House Cemetery was begun in March 1915 and used until April 1918 by units holding this part of the line. It then comprised most of the present Plots I and II.


Cemeteries concentrated here

After the Armistice these Plots III and IV were added, when graves were brought in from the battlefields around Ypres (now Ieper) and from a number of small burial grounds, including the following:- BASSEVILLE FARM GERMAN CEMETERY, ZANTVOORDE, on the Zantvoorde-Zillebeke road, where five soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried in November 1914. BAVARIA HOUSE CEMETERY, YPRES, at an Advanced Dressing Station near Verlorenhoek and close to the Potijze-Zonnebeke road. Here were buried, in September-November 1917, 17 soldiers from the United Kingdom, four from Canada, four from Australia, three from New Zealand and one from the West Indies. BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY, ENCLOSURE No.1, ZILLEBEKE, on the East side of the Ypres-St. Eloi road. In this, the oldest of the five Bedford House "Enclosures," ten French soldiers were buried in 1914 and 1915, and 14 soldiers from the United Kingdom in 1915 and 1917. COTTAGE GARDEN CEMETERY, ST. JEAN, close to the main street of the village. Here were buried, in 1914-1915, 44 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Canada. GREEN HUNTER CEMETERY, VLAMERTINGHE, close to the cabaret "In den Groenen Jager," a little West of the Vlamertinghe-Voormezeele road. Twenty soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried here in 1915 and 1918. HENGEBAERT FARM CEMETERY, DICKEBUSCH, 600 metres North of Dickebusch village, where 16 soldiers from Australia and ten (all R.F.A.) from the United Kingdom were buried in 1915-1917. NORTH BANK CEMETERY, VOORMEZEELE, (also called Lankhof Cemetery), between Lankhof Farm and the canal. In this cemetery, which was completely destroyed, eleven Canadian soldiers were buried in April and May 1916. WILDE WOOD CEMETERY, ZONNEBEKE, a little North of the Ypres-Roulers railway line, where 17 soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried in July-September 1917.


The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.


Cemetery Location

The Cemetery is located north-east of Ieper on the Brugseweg (N313) in the direction of Roeselare/Brugge. From the Grote Markt in Ieper take the road called Korte Torhoutstraat and at the end turn left into Lange Torhoutstraat, follow this road over the roundabout into Kalfvart and continue to the traffic lights. At the traffic lights turn right into Brugseweg and the cemetery is along here on the left before the village of St.Jan.


Shot at Dawn

There are four men who were executed and whose graves were concentrated here after the Armistice.


2779 Private Herbert H Chase, Age 21, Grave III.P.1 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, 12th Brigade, 4th Division. He was charged with desertion in October 1914 and escaped only to be caught in December and at his trial in January 1915 he was sentenced to three years in prison. This was suspended at the beginning of May and he was sent back to his battalion which was in the Salient. He deserted for a second time during a German gas attack at Mousetrap Farm on 23 May 1915. He was found dazed and exhausted lying by the side of the road two miles behind the front line. He was seen by a doctor at a nearby dressing station. When the circumstances of his absence where reported he was court martialled on 29 May. He was executed at St Sixtus Monastery near Dozinghem on 12 June and buried nearby. His body was exhumed and brought here after the Armistice.


7171 Private William J Turpie, Age 24, Grave II.C.24 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment, 85th Brigade, 28th Division. He deserted on 16 April 1915 as his Battalion was moving up to the front line at Zonnebeke from Vlamertinghe. He made his was to Boulogne and to the British consul where he obtained a pass authorising his return to England. During the crossing he changed into civilian clothes and avoided detection on landing in Dover. Here he resided at the Seaman’s Rest Hostel for two nights before being arrested by the local police at the Priory Railway Station in Dover. Having provided the police with his correct name and address he then explained that he was a fireman on a ship that had departed Dunkirk and been forced to call in at Boulogne where he obtained a pass from the British consul to return to Britain. The police made enquiries at his home and Turpie eventually admitted that he was deserter. The local Magistrates returned him to his battalion.


At his court martial he claimed that he could not remember any of the details of his desertion. He was one of the few who deserted and who reached England however, he was executed on 1 July 1915, and buried near Dickebusch. Three soldiers from each of the battalions in his Brigade formed the firing squad and the four battalions in his Brigade formed a hollow square while his commanding officer read out his sentence. His body being exhumed and interred at White House Cemetery after the Armistice.


L/8107 Private Alfred E Eveleigh, Age 27, Grave III.L.10 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment),16th Brigade, 6th Division. He was a regular soldier who had enlisted in 1905 at the age of 17. Both Everleigh and Gawler deserted together. Everleigh was already under a suspended sentence of death.


L/10098 Private Robert W Gawler, Age 20, Grave III. L. 9 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment),16th Brigade, 6th Division. Gawler had already received a sentence of three months’ imprisonment with hard labour but this commuted to field punishment no.1 However, this did not stop him deserting twice more. He was undefended at his court martial on 10 February. When his case was being passed up the line for review Brigadier-General Nicholson recommended that his sentence be commuted on the grounds of his medical condition and family history.


They were executed on 24 February 1916 at Burgomaster Farm near Poperinghe and buried nearby. The firing party being from their own battalion. Their bodies were exhumed and reinterred White House Cemetery after the Armistice.

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