DUGOUTS (TRANSPORT FARM)
BURIAL GROUND, ZILLEBEKE
UK - 1,629
AIF - 154
NZ - 3
CEF - 594
BWIR - 1
INDIAN - 4
UNKNOWN - 2
GERMAN - 3
UNNAMED - 430
SPECIAL MEMORIALS - 258
Just over a mile west of the village of Zillebeke the railway line runs on an embankment, overlooking a small farmstead known to the British Army as Transport Farm. It is a place screened by slightly rising ground to the east, and burials on the site of the cemetery began in April 1915. They were continued until the Armistice, especially in 1916 and 1917, when Advanced Dressing Stations were placed in the Dugouts and the farm. They were made in small groups, without any definite arrangement; and in the summer of 1917 a considerable number were obliterated by shell fire before they could be marked. The names "Railway Dugouts" and "Transport Farm" were used indifferently, and both are included in the present name. At the time of the Armistice, 1,705 graves were known and marked. Other graves were then brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries in the surrounding area, and 258 known graves, destroyed by artillery fire, were specially commemorated. The latter were mainly in the present Plots IV and VII. There are now nearly 2,500, Great War casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 400 are unidentified and 261 are represented by special memorials. Other special memorials record the names of 42 soldiers from Canada and 30 from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed in later fighting. The cemetery covers an area of 16,374 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall, except where it borders the pond.
The main cemeteries moved in here were:
VALLEY COTTAGES CEMETERY, ZILLEBEKE, was among a group of cottages on "Observatory Road", which runs Eastward from Zillebeke village. It contained the graves of 111 soldiers from the United Kingdom and Canada. It was in an exposed position during the greater part of the war, and of the graves in it are represented by special memorials in Railway Dugouts Burial Ground.
TRANSPORT FARM ANNEXE was about 90 metres South-East of the Railway Dugouts Cemetery, on the road to Verbrandenmolen. The graves in it were removed to Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Zillebeke; but one officer, whose grave was not found, is specially commemorated here.
Railway Dugouts Burial Ground
(Transport Farm) is located 2 kilometres south-east of Ypres (now Ieper) town
centre, on the Komenseweg, a road connecting Ieper to Komen (N336). From Ieper
town centre the Komenseweg is located via the Rijselsestraat, through the
Rijselpoort (Lille Gate) and crossing the Ieper ring road, towards Armentieres
and Lille. The road name then changes to Rijselseweg. 1 kilometre along the
Rijselseweg lies the left hand turning onto Komenseweg. The cemetery itself is
located 1.2 kilometres along the Komenseweg on the right hand side of the road.
GRAVES OF INTEREST
Lieutenant A.N.P.Service 52nd Bn Canadian Infantry
- Killed 18th August 1916.
- Brother of Canadian poet, Robert Service, who was here the day his brother died.
Second Lieutenant Frederick Youens VC 13th Durham Light Infantry
- Killed 9th July 1917, aged
- VC citation London Gazette 31st July 1917:
" For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. While out on patrol this officer was wounded and had to return to his trenches to have his wounds dressed. Shortly afterwards a report came in that the enemy were preparing to raid our trenches. 2nd Lt. Youens, regardless of his wound, immediately set out to rally the team of a Lewis gun, which had become disorganised owing to heavy shell fire. During this process an enemy's bomb fell on the Lewis gun position without exploding. 2nd Lt. Youens immediately picked it up and hurled it over the parapet. Shortly afterwards another bomb fell near the same place; again 2nd Lt. Youens picked it up with the intention of throwing it away, when it exploded in his hand, severely wounding him and also some of his men. There is little doubt that the prompt and gallant action of 2nd Lt. Youens saved several of his men's lives and that by his energy and resource the enemy's raid was completely repulsed. This gallant officer has since succumbed to his wounds."