West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) Belgium
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Boezinge is a village in the province of West Flanders, north of Ieper on the Diksmuidseweg road (N369). From the station turn left into M.Fochlaan and go to the roundabout, then turn right and continue to the next roundabout. Turn left and drive to the next roundabout and then turn right into Oude Veurnestraat. At the roundabout turn left onto the Diksmuidseweg, and follow the road under the motorway bridge; the Cemetery will be found on the right hand side of the road. Historical Information: The land south of Essex Farm was used as a dressing station cemetery from April 1915 to August 1917. The burials were made without definite plan and some of the divisions which occupied this sector may be traced in almost every part of the cemetery, but the 49th (West Riding) Division buried their dead of 1915 in Plot I, and the 38th (Welsh) Division used Plot III in the autumn of 1916. There are 1,199 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 102 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate 19 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. It was in Essex Farm Cemetery that Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian Army Medical Corps wrote the poem ' In Flanders Fields' in May 1915. The 49th Division Memorial is immediately behind the cemetery, on the canal bank.
The cemetery holds the grave of Rifleman Valentine Joe Strudwick, who fell in action aged just 15, one of the youngest battle casualties of the Great War.