West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) Belgium
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Visiting Information: Wheelchair access to site possible via main entrance. For further information regarding wheelchair access, please contact our Enquiries Section on telephone number 01628 507200.
Location Information: Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) is located 2 kilometres south-east of 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.
Historical Information: The commune of Zillebeke contains many Commonwealth cemeteries as the front line trenches ran through it during the greater part of the First World War. Railway Dugouts Cemetery is two kilometres west of Zillebeke village, where the railway runs on an embankment overlooking a small farmstead known to the troops as Transport Farm. The site of the cemetery was screened by slightly rising ground to the east, and burials began there 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 both used for the cemetery. At the time of the Armistice, more than 1,700 graves in the cemetery were known and marked. Other graves were then brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries in the vicinity, and a number of the known graves destroyed by artillery fire were specially commemorated. The latter were mainly in the present Plots IV and VII. The cemetery now contains 2,459 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 430 of the burials are unidentified and 261 casualties are represented by special memorials. Other special memorials record the names of 72 casualties buried in Valley Cottages and Transport Farm Annexe Cemeteries whose graves were destroyed in later fighting. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
No. of Identified Casualties: 2033