The Western Front Today - Bedford House Cemetery

Bedford House cemetery is one of the Ypres Salient's largest cemeteries.  While most of the burials relate to the 1914-18 war there are also graves dating from the Second World War.  The cemetery was established in the grounds of the destroyed Rosendal Chateau.  The chateau's moats remain in place and the drive leading to the chateau is intact today leading instead to the cemetery.  The ruins of the chateau can distinctly be viewed in the cemetery.

During the First World War the chateau was used by local British Field Ambulances and Dressing Stations.  At an early stage burials were effected in the grounds.  In January 1917 the chateau was adopted by 55 Brigade as its headquarters until it was severely damaged by German 8-inch shells (with 500 gas shells falling in one day during the Third Battle of Ypres).

The cemetery comprises five distinct enclosures.  In total there are 3,951 U.K., 353 South African, 201 Australian, 30 New Zealand, 20 Indian, 6 British West Indies, 3 Guernsey, 1 Russian and 501 unknown burials.  There are 47 special memorials.

Film Footage of Bedford House Cemetery (1)

Film Footage of Bedford House Cemetery (2)

Before Endeavours Fade, Rose E.B. Coombs, After the Battle 1994
Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide - Ypres Salient, Leo Cooper 2000

In preparation for the Battle of the Somme, the British launched a seven-day artillery bombardment in which 1,500 guns fired 1.6 million rounds.

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