Whitby High School

Battlefields Tour 22nd-25th March 2009

Flanders Field, Belgium - Tuesday 24th March

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Today Tyne Cot is the biggest British military cemetery in the world, with 11,956 burials. The panels in the back wall hold the names of 34,888 missing. The two forward (fighting) pillboxes can be seen to the left and right of the entrance. The central (command) box was incorporated into the Cross of Sacrifice, at the suggestion of King George V who visited the site in 1922. The two rear (rest) boxes form the foundations of classical pavilions on either side of the rear wall. The original burials are the less regularly arranged rows above the Cross of Sacrifice. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

The name is said to have been given by men of the Northumbrian Fusiliers who fought here in 1917, who saw a similarity between a nearby ruined barn and cottages in Tyneside. A cluster of five German pillboxes stood here - just below the crest of the Passchendaele ridge. Immediately in front of the pillboxes was a low lying area that contained some of the worst and deepest mud in the Saiient. The position fell to Australian troops on 4th October 1917.

As the fighting moved towards Passchendaele village, the pillboxes were used as advanced dressing stations, and it was around these that the original battlefield cemetery of 300 burials grew. Tyne Cot lies less than 1 kilometre from Passchendaele and it took the Allies another month to cover the distance. The site grew steadily in the 1920's as small battlefield cemeteries were closed down and the burials moved here, and as bodies were recovered from the battlefields as they were cleared. This latter point explains the unusually high proportion of unidentified burials.


The entrance to one of the circular Memorial Walls

During our visit we were very successful in finding the men we were researching off our war memorial for our project and website

Thanks to the following:

Hayley Davies, who found James McCormack

Katie Parr, who found Robert Perry

Bethan Mills, who found Richard Cartwright

Caitlin Kennedy, who found Charles Cadwallader

Adam Houston, who found Samuel Hardwick

Plus thanks to Amy and Jacob who helped me find two men off two other memorials currently being researched:

Amy Lyth, who found Frederick Norman Howe (Halewood War Memorial)

Jacob Champion, who found Lewis Martyn (Farndon War Memorial)

There were many more, so a big thank you to all students who helped out.

The results of research when completed is found on Ellesmere Port War Memorial Project

Yet another unidentified soldier - "Known Unto God"

Home    Top    back    forward   

Updated April 2009 by Mike Royden
The Whitby High School, Cheshire County Council.