I am often asked – “How do the cemeteries get their names”.
Below is a selection, which give an idea.
The CWGC cemeteries often have odd, romantic, historical or
humorous names, given by the soldiers. The CWGC kept these names as
Bedford House Cemetery, Zillebeke -
Bedford House was the name given by the Army to Chateau Rosendal, a
Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery, Ypres -
This was the name given to the point where the Rue Brielen joined a spur
of the Ypres-Dickebusch road. The
origin of the name is evident, but details of the battery in question are
Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke.
Buttes (properly Butte) is a long 20 feet high artificial mound formerly
used as a small-arms butt in target training; it forms the north-east side
of the cemetery.
Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery, Boesinghe –
from the front line were brought to this post.
Dozinghem (Mendinghem and Bandaghem)
In July 1917, at the beginning of the British 3rd Ypres
Offensive, groups of casualty clearing stations (CCS) were established in
readiness at three positions called by the soldiers Bandagehem, Dozinghem
and Mendinghem (Bandage, Dosing and Mending)
An example of Tommy humour. Officially
Dozinghem is at Westvleteren, Mendinghem at Proven and Bandagehem at
Hop Store Cemetery, Vlamertinghe –
to the Hop Store in the village.
Mud Corner Cemetery, Warneton
corner was the name given to a road junction on the northern edge of
Ploegsteert (Plugstreet to the Tommie’s); it was a good description of
No Man’s Cot Cemetery, Boseinghe
The name was given by the Tommie’s to a nearby building. Two options seem to have been put forward. Firstly it was a Cottage (Cot) in No Man’s Land or secondly a Cottage with no occupants.
Packhorse Farm Shrine Cemetery, Wulverghem
name was given by Tommie’s, to a farm where the cemetery was
established. A shrine stood
Perth (China Wall) Cemetery, Zillebeke.
The reason why ‘Perth is in the title is unknown.
The 2nd Scottish Rifles adopted the cemetery in June 1917, so
possibly this is the reason. ‘China
Wall’ refers to the nearby communication trench, which was known to the
Tommie’s as the ‘ Great Wall of China’
Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) Zillebeke.
Railway, then and today runs alongside the cemetery, so the Tommie’s
name was obvious. The dugouts were long used by medical units.
Local Farm buildings nearby were no doubt used for horse drawn
transport and so ‘Transport Farm’.
spoil from the Ypres-Commines Canal was nearby.
Hopefully this gives an insight into Cemetery naming.