Zillebeke Churchyard Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery

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Zillebeke Churchyard
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Private memorial to John H G Lee Steere
Used for those deceased 1914
Established 1914
Location 50°50′09″N 02°55′21″E / 50.83583°N 2.92250°E / 50.83583; 2.92250
near Ieper, West Flanders, Belgium
Designed by W H Cowlishaw
Total burials 32
Burials by nation
Burials by war
Statistics source: WO1.be

Zillebeke Churchyard Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery forms part of the village churchyard located around the Catholic parish church of Zillebeke in Belgium.

A section of the parish churchyard used by the inhabitants of Zillebeke is maintained as a war cemetery by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as a burial ground for the dead of the First World War near Ypres (now Ieper) on the Western Front.

The grounds of the war cemetery were assigned to the United Kingdom in perpetuity by King Albert I of Belgium in recognition of the sacrifices made by the British Empire in the defence and liberation of Belgium during the war.[1]

Within Zillebeke Churchyard CWGC Cemetery there is a section with war graves of soldiers from aristocratic backgrounds; this plot is called The Aristocrat's Cemetery.[2]

Foundation[edit]

Grave of Lieutenant The 5th Baron Congleton

In the early days of the war, whilst the front line was still mobile, specific cemeteries for soldiers were comparatively rare and the dead were often buried in local churchyards or municipal burial grounds near where they were killed. Zillebeke was on the front line for much of the war and its churchyard was used for the war dead.[3] These 1914 burials of British and Canadian soldiers[4] reflect the mobility of the front line as they are largely of officers,[3] and reflect the officer class[5] of that point in the war as they were nobility[6] or the sons of the wealthy and the well-connected.[7] As such, the cemetery deviates from almost every other Commission burial ground by having two private memorials,[8] breaking the "equality in death"[9] principle the Commission was founded under and not complying with Sir Frederic Kenyon's report, still otherwise followed to this day, that Commission cemeteries "were designed to avoid class distinctions that would conflict with the feeling of 'brotherhood' which had developed between all ranks serving at the Front".[10] The private memorials are a headstone dedicated to Lieutenant John Henry Gordon Lee-Steere[11] and the tomb of Second Lieutenant Baron Alexis George de Gunzburg.[12]

Amongst the nobility or well-connected buried in the cemetery are Lieutenant The 5th Baron Congleton,[13] Major Lord Bernard Gordon-Lennox (son of 7th Duke of Richmond)[14] and the Honourable William Reginald Wyndham (son of the 2nd Baron Leconfield).[15]

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission part of the cemetery was designed by W H Cowlishaw.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ First World War, accessed 19 August 2006
  2. ^ Holt & Holt 2014, p. 226.
  3. ^ a b c "Zillebeke Churchyard". Cemetery Details. CWGC. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  4. ^ "Zillebeke Churchyard". The Great War in Flanders Fields. wo1.be. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. 
  5. ^ Bourne, John. "University of Birmingham: Centre for First World War Studies: 'Lions Led By Donkeys'". firstworldwar.bham.ac.uk. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  6. ^ "World War One Battlefields : Zillebeke and area". ww1battlefields.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  7. ^ "Zillebeke". The Long, Long Trail. 1914-1918.net. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Zillebeke & The Caterpillar Crater". bujold.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. 
  9. ^ Braybon, Gail (2003). Evidence, History, and the Great War: Historians and the Impact of 1914-18. Oxford: Berghahn Books. p. 39. ISBN 1-57181-724-7. 
  10. ^ Modern wording, not from the report, from A History of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., accessed 2008-05-05
  11. ^ "Lee-Steere, John Henry Gordon". Wereldoorlog I in de Westhoek [The Great War in Flanders Fields] (in Dutch). wo1.be. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. 
  12. ^ "De Gunzburg, Alexis George". Wereldoorlog I in de Westhoek [The Great War in Flanders Fields] (in Dutch). wo1.be. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. 
  13. ^ "Congleton, 5th Baron". Casualty Details. CWGC. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  14. ^ "Gordon-Lennox, Lord Bernard Charles". Casualty Details. CWGC. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  15. ^ "Wyndham, The Hon. William Reginald". Casualty Details. CWGC. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 

External links[edit]