STRAND MILITARY CEMETERY PLOEGSTEERT. CEMETERY INDEX NUMBER B.451. P L GEO STEER T is a village and commune in the Province of West Flanders, on the French border. To the North of it on either side of the road to Messines is Ploegsteert Wood and on the right of that road between it and the first trees of the wood is a place called by the Army Charing Cross at the end of a trench called the Strand which led into the Wood. Two burials were made at this place close to an Advanced Dressing Station in October 1914. The cemetery was not used between October 1914 and April 1917 but in April-July 1917 Plots VIto I were completed. They contain 351 graves of which 232 are Australian. Plots VII to X were made after the Armistice by the concentration of 777 graves from certain small cemeteries and from the battlefields of 1914-1918 lying (mainly) between Wytschaetc and Armentieres. The cemetery was in German hands for a few months in 1918 but was very litde used by the enemy. The cemetery now contains the graves of 725 soldiers and airmen from the United Kingdom 284 soldiers from Australia 87 from New Zealand 26 from Canada and one from South Africa and four German prisoners. The unnamed British graves number 356 and special memorials are erected to four soldiers from Australia and one from New Zealand known or believed to be buried among them. Certain graves in Plots VII and X identified collectively but not individually are marked by headstones bearing the words “Buried near this spot.” Other special memorials record the names of 13 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from New Zealand whose graves in four cemeteries now concentrated were destroyed by shellfire. Strand Military Cemetery covers an area of 5456 square yards. It is bounded by a stone rubble wall on the roadside and by a curb and a hornbeam hedge on the other sides. It is planted with oak-trees. The nearest railway stations arc at Messines on alight railway from Ypres, and at Pont-Rouge on the light railway from Armentieres to Comines. The Register records particulars of 1137 War Graves existing or commemorated in the cemetery.
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