Essex Farm Cemetery

History Information (Source: CWGC)

Essex Farm was the location of an Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) during the First World War.  The land south of Essex Farm was used as a dressing station cemetery from April 1915 to August 1917. The burials were made without definite plan and some of the divisions which occupied this sector may be traced in almost every part of the cemetery, but the 49th (West Riding) Division buried their dead of 1915 in Plot I, and the 38th (Welsh) Division used Plot III in the autumn of 1916.

 

It was here that Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields in May 1915. Born in Ontario in 1872, McCrae was a physician with the Canadian Army Medical Corps during the Second Battle of Ypres. It was written at his dressing station. He died on 28 January 1918, of pneumonia and a monument in the cemetery commemorates the poem. He is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery.

 

One of the youngest fatalities in the British Army in the First World War, Rifleman Valentine Joe Strudwick of the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade who died on 14 January 1916, aged 15, is buried in Plot I, Row U Grave 8.

 

 

Served with

·         United Kingdom (1093)

·         Canadian (6)

·         German (3)

Served in

·         Army (1102)

 

Essex Farm
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In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.