Cement House Cemetery, Belgium - Rededication Ceremony

On Thursday 18 May 2017 at 11.00 AM a rededication service was held for two Canadian airmen, 2Lt Robert Smith Bennie and Lt Lindsay Drummond. At this ceremony Lt Thomas Arthur Metheral was also remembered, he died with Lt Bennie in combat on 5th June 1917, and is also buried in this cemetery.

 

A large number of relatives from all 3 servicemen came over from Canada to attend the moving ceremony. As well as local dignitaries, Australian military, among them Col. S. Clingan, representatives of the British embassy and the Canadian ambassador in Belgium.

 

100 years ago on the day, 18th May 1917,  Lt Drummond was shot down above Geluwe and buried by the Germans in the nearby German "Terhand Cemetery", sadly at that point his name was spelled incorrect. A few weeks later, on the 5th June 1917, 2nd Lt Bennie and his observer Lt Metheral were shot down above Menin and also buried by the Germans in "Terhand Cemetery".  Lt Bennies name too was spelled incorrect so from the 3 only Lt Metheral was registered correctly.  After the war relatives of 2nd Lt Bennie travelled to Belgium and during 3 months they kept searching for a grave but without result.

 

In 1955 the 3 were reburied in Cement House Cemetery but because of the incorrect spelling two names were unknown to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and therefore buried as "Unknown Soldiers", only Lt Metheral had a known grave.

 

Than a local Belgian researcher, Dirk Decuypere, looked into this case and after 10 years he achieved a positive identification of the pilots Lindsay Drummond and Robert Bennie so after 100 years they now have their own headstone in a "known" grave.

 

Cement House
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