Ypres Reservoir Cemetery

Casualty info

Total Burials: 2613, of which 1034 are unidentified.

Designed by

Sir Reginald Blomfield


History

Ypres Reservoir Cemetery was originally named ‘Cemetery North of the Prison’ and was one of three war time cemeteries located near to the old prison and western gate of the symbolic city of Ypres. The cemetery was renamed for fear that the mention of prison in the name would upset relatives of the men buried here. The name Ypres Reservoir was chosen to reflect the fact the city’s reservoir and water tower stood nearby.

The cemetery was begun in October 1915 by field ambulances and units who were in action near to the city. After the Armistice, the cemetery was enlarged, amalgamating the two other cemeteries located near to the western gate – Ypres Reservoir South (otherwise known as Prison Cemetery No.1) and Ypres Reservoir Middle (Prison Cemetery No.2) as well as many other smaller burials dotted in and around the battlefields of the Salient.


Epitaphs

164336 Gunner P. H. Clarke
Royal Garrison Artillery
28th September 1918
Age 32

Thy will be done

Our darling Daddy

Gone from our home

But never forgotten

656 Gunner Francis Joseph Gell
Australian Heavy Artillery
4th October 1917
Age 23

Given by a loving Father

And Mother

With proud but aching hearts


When I at last, am seen and known

Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry – Plot V, Row AA

Here lie the remains of 16 officers and men of the 6th Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. On 12th August 1915, they were billeted in the vaults of St Martin’s Cathedral at rest, having recently been relieved from holding the line at Hooge. It was then that German heavy artillery, known to the men as the “Ypres Express” due to its loud rumbling noise, opened fire on the City. The Cathedral was hit and the ceilings of the vaults collapsed, burying the resting troops. The survivors were rescued by two of the battalion’s officers and men of the 11th Battalion the King’s Liverpool Regiment but in all, 22 men are known to have died on that day in the battalion. Five other casualties who died on 12th August as a result of this incident, including the two officers who took part in the rescue efforts – Major Barnett and Lieutenant Blagrove, are buried elsewhere in the cemetery.

Brigadier General Francis Aylmer Maxwell , V.C., C.S.I., D.S.O – Plot I, A 37

The much decorated Brigadier General Maxwell who was in command of the 27th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division is buried here. Francis Maxwell had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his brave actions during the Second Boer War on 31st March 1900. Despite his rank, Maxwell was often seen in the front line and was well loved and respected by his men. He was 46 years old when he was shot by a German sniper during the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, on the 21st September 1917. His Brother, Lieutenant Colonel Eustace Lockhart Maxwell, was killed during the Battle of the Somme a year earlier and is remembered on the Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial.

Major James Leadbitter Knott and Captain Henry Basil Knott – Plot V, B 15 & 16

These brothers were brought together here under very unusual circumstances – possibly indeed unique. Captain Henry Knott was shot in the head whilst in action at the Bois Carré, Vierstraat in September 1915. He was taken to No 10 Casualty Clearing
Station at Remy Siding where he died the next day, and was likely buried at Lijssenthoek Cemetery. His brother Major James Knott was killed at Fricourt on the Somme a year later. He was 2nd in command of 10th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment and died during that most bloody of days – the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Their Father, Sir James Knott, was a wealthy entrepreneur who made his fortune in shipping, but after the death of his sons he sold his shipping line and devoted much of his time and money to erecting several memorials to his sons and starting a charitable trust in their memory. He was desperate to bring the bodies of his two sons back to England and although the authorities would not allow this, it was through his considerable influence that he managed to bring his two sons together again, having their remains exhumed and reburied in plots next to each other here at Ypres Reservoir. His wealth gives us a very visible demonstration of the grief that effected the families of so many, torn apart by the war. 

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