Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

24/8/2004

Walter Shuttleworth’s Great War Diary

This site is concerned with a British Soldier who died during the First World War and his experiences and well worth a visit at http://www.klewis.uklinux.net/diary/9elms.php. The Introduction to the diary can be found at http://www.klewis.uklinux.net/diary/contents.php

Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium
Cemetery Index Number B.3.

“Nine Elms” was the name given by the Army to a spot about one mile from Poperinghe on the more southerly of the two roads that lead west from that town. The Cemetery is on the south side of the road. The nearest railway station to it is Poperinghe, on the line from Hazebrouck to Ypres.

The Cemetery is due, so far as the burials in Plots I to IX are concerned, to the operations known as the Battles of Ypres, 1917. The first date of death recorded in these Plots is the 16th September, 1917, and the last (with one exception) the 19th December 1917; and in almost all cases the deaths occurred in the 3rd Australian and 44th Casualty Clearing Stations, which were moved from Brandhoek and Lijssenthoek respectively in September, 1917 and transferred from the Fifth to the Second Army for the purposes of General Plumer’s attack.

Plots X, XI,XIII,XIV and XV cover the dates between the beginning of March,1918 and the 12th October, 1918, the period of the German offensive in Flanders, the British counter attacks and the final advance of August-September. The burials in these cases were carried out almost entirely by fighting units.

Plots XII and XVI at the south end of the Cemetery contains the bodies of 95 American soldiers who fell in July, August and September, 1918. The German plot in the north-east corner of the Cemetery contains the graves of 37 prisoners of war who died between the 20th September, 1917 and the 22nd March, 1918.

The numbering of the Plots follows the order of date of death, and illustrates very strikingly the succession of troops from different nations of the Empire which was brought into the attack on the German positions, or involved in the defence of the British. 955 officers and men from the United Kingdom lie in every Plot but those of America and Germany. Twenty of the 26 South Africans are buried in Plot I; 136 out of 149 Australians and 110 out of 118 New Zealanders in Plots II to VI; 283 out of 289 Canadians in Plots V to IX. There are besides, eight burials from the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, seven from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, two from the British West Indies Regiment, one from the Bermuda Militia Artillery, and one of an Indian Driver attached to an artillery depot; and the graves of 95 American soldiers, six French, and 37 Germans complete the number of 1,694 graves.

The Register contains particulars of 1,556 British and Dominion burials, including:
Shuttleworth, Rfn. Walter, 325142. 1st/8th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment. Died of wounds 11 Oct 1917. Age 21. Son of Francis and Amelia Shuttleworth of Birmingham. IV. D. 11.

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