First D.C.L.I. Cemetery, The Bluff

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First D.C.L.I. Cemetery, The Bluff

First DCLI Cemetery is located 4 km south east of Ypres town centre, on the Verbrandemolenstraat a road leading from the Komenseweg, connecting Ypres to Komen (N336).

From Ypres town centre the Komenseweg is located via the Rijselsestraat, through the Rijselpoort (Lille Gate) and crossing the Ypres ring road, towards Armentieres and Lille. The road name then changes to Rijselseweg. 1 km along the Rijselseweg lies the left hand turning onto Komenseweg.

2.5 km along the Komenseweg lies the right hand turning onto the Vaartstraat. 900 metres along the Vaartstraat lies the left hand turning onto the Verbrandemolenstraat. 400 metres along the Verbrandemolenstraat a short distance from the road is the cemetery.

Historical Information

The commune of Zillebeke contains many Commonwealth cemeteries as the front line trenches ran through it during the greater part of the First World War.

The trenches of the 14th (Light) Division on the narrow ridge known as the Bluff were captured by the Germans in February 1916, and retaken by the 3rd Division on 2 March. In the following July the Germans blew a mine under it, but failed to capture the ground. It was given up in the spring of 1918, but regained by the 14th Division on 28 September.

The First D.C.L.I. Cemetery dates from a period earlier than the fighting of 1916. It contains the graves of officers and men of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (one of whom had just obtained a commission in another Regiment) and other soldiers, all of whom died in April-July 1915. Row D was added after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefield.

The cemetery now contains 76 First World War burials, 13 of them unidentified.

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