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CWGC Cemetery: Berkshire Cemetery Extension, Hainaut, Belgium

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Media TitleCWGC Cemetery: Berkshire Cemetery Extension, Hainaut, Belgium
Owner/SourceOriginal Photo Courtesy of The Commonwealth Graves Commission ©
DateAdded 17 Dec 2013
Linked toGeorge Lawrence Holmden (Burial)

Berkshire Cemetery Extension, Ploegsteert, Flanders, Belgium

Notes: Hyde Park Corner was a road junction to the north of Ploegsteert Wood. Hill 63 was to the north-west and nearby were the 'Catacombs' - deep shelters capable of holding two battalions, which were used from November 1916 onwards.

HYDE PARK CORNER (ROYAL BERKS) CEMETERY was begun in April 1915 by the 1st/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment and was used at intervals until November 1917. The cemetery contains 83 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and four German war graves.

BERKS CEMETERY EXTENSION is separated from Hyde Park Corner Cemetery by a road. The extension was begun in June 1916 and used continuously until September 1917. At the Armistice, the extension comprised Plot I only, but Plots II and III were added in 1930 when graves were brought in from Rosenberg Chateau Military Cemetery and Extension, about 1 kilometre to the north-west, when it was established that these sites could not be acquired in perpetuity. Rosenberg Chateau Military Cemetery was used by fighting units from November 1914 to August 1916. The extension was begun in May 1916 and used until March 1918.

Together, the cemetery and extension were sometimes referred to as 'Red Lodge'. Berks Cemetery Extension now contains 876 First World War burials.

Within Berks Cemetery Extension stands the PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL, commemorating more than 11,000 Commonwealth servicemen who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave. The memorial serves the area from the line Caestre-Dranoutre-Warneton to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes to the south, including the towns of Hazebrouck, Merville, Bailleul and Armentieres, the Forest of Nieppe, and Ploegsteert Wood. Those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere.


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