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 official titles.
Bedford House Cemetery, Zillebeke –
Bedford House was the name given by the Army to Chateau Rosendal, a country house.
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 not known.
Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke.
The 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 –
Casualties 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 Haringhe.
Hop Store Cemetery, Vlamertinghe –
Next to the Hop Store in the village.
Mud Corner Cemetery, Warneton
Mud corner was the name given to a road junction on the northern edge of Ploegsteert (Plugstreet to the Tommies); it was a good description of this corner.
No Man’s Cot Cemetery, Boseinghe
The name was given by the Tommies 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
The name was given by Tommies, to a farm where the cemetery was established. A shrine stood nearby.
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 Tommies as the ‘ Great Wall of China’
Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) Zillebeke.
The Railway, then and today runs alongside the cemetery, so the Tommies’ 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’.
The spoil from the Ypres-Commines Canal was nearby.
Hopefully this gives an insight into Cemetery naming.