Bethleem Farm West Cemetery, Mesen (Messines)

Casualty info

Total Burials: 164

Designed by

G H Goldsmith


History

Following a short grassed path from the farmstead will take you to the entrance of this cemetery. It is a cemetery that changes drastically with the season, when the crops that surround its walls are in full growth one feels completely cut off from the outside world and there is something quite moving about seeing this memorial to the dead totally encapsulated by new life year upon year. The cemetery was begun by the 3rd Australian Division who captured the farm on the first day of the Battle of Messines, June 7th 1917. It was originally named ‘3rd Division General Cemetery’ and it is no surprise to learn that Australians make up the majority of the men at rest here (112).


Epitaphs

Private 
Sidney Calton Ward
42nd Bn.
Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
10th June 1917
Aged 21

Inscribe his name

on the scroll of fame

in letters of purest gold

Perhaps inspired by the traditional Irish folk song ‘Sentenced To Death’:

‘Then leave him away on the hillside,
Along with the brave and the bold. Inscribe his name on a scroll of fame,
In letters of purest gold.
My conscience will never convict me,
He said with his last dying breath,
And may God bless the cause of our freedom.
For which I lay sentenced to death.’

Private
Oswald Spencer Hill
33rd Bn.
Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
23rd July 1917
Aged 19

He rose responsive

to his country’s call


When I at last, am seen and known

Lance Corporal G W Bate & Private J T Bate – D 29

George William Bate of 42nd Coy the Machine Gun Corps was killed on 3rd September 1917. The inscription on his headstone reads: ‘Also in memory of 11119 Pte. John Thomas Bate King’s Shropshire L.I. Killed 9.8.1915 Age 21’