area on the Western Front was the scene of the Third Battle of Ypres.
Also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, it was one of the major battles
of the First World War. Tyne Cot or Tyne Cottage was a barn named by
the Northumberland Fusiliers which stood near the level crossing on
the road from Passchendaele to Broodseinde. Near the town of Ieper in
Belgium is Tyne Cot Cemetery and memorial, the largest Commonwealth
War Graves Commission cemetery in the world. It is now the resting place
of more than 11,900 servicemen of the British Empire from the First
World War; the memorial bears the names of some 35,000 men of the British
and New Zealand forces who have no known grave, nearly all of whom died
between August 1917 and November 1918.
The barn, which had become the centre of five or six German blockhouses,
was captured by the 3rd Australian Division on 4 October 1917, in the
advance on Passchendaele.
of these pillboxes was unusually large and was used as an advanced dressing
station after its capture. From 6 October to the end of March 1918,
343 graves were made, on two sides of it, by the 50th (Northumbrian)
and 33rd Divisions, and by two Canadian units. The cemetery was in German
hands again from 13 April to 28 September, when it was finally recaptured,
with Passchendaele, by the Belgian Army.
Cot Cemetery is in an area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking,
the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge
in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout
Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November
1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing
the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back
to the Passchendaele Ridge. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April
1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north
of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and
the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening
of the line of defence.
from the Commonwealth
War Graves Commision website]