Regional Content
County Durham

Letter re Ypres visit in 1921
The Northern Daily Mail printed a letter from Mr. P.E. Heselton of 30 York Road, West Hartlepool, which reads:

Sir, I have recently visited Ypres, and through your column should like to inform those who have relatives buried there that the cemeteries are now being put in very good order. Within a radius of seven miles of Ypres there about 300 British cemeteries, the largest containing the bodies of about 18,000 and the smallest 40. Many of these are in outlying districts and have to be attended to by men sent out in motors. This gives some idea of the great work to be done by the I.W.G.C. The tracing of the missing is still proceeding, and in Ypres area alone some 230 bodies per week are being exhumed and reverently reburied in the cemeteries. A good percentage of these are being identified, so those who have dear ones still missing may yet hear that their bodies have been found and reburied in a cemetery. A touching part is to see the hundreds of crosses bearing the simple but pathetic inscription An unknown British soldier.
There is only one cemetery in the Ypres area permanently completed. It is the Hop Store Cemetery at Vlamertinghe, between Ypres and Poperhinghe. It is enclosed by a brick wall with concrete coping and at the entrance is a large cross. The permanent headstones are neat and substantial and of the same design for all ranks. New grass has been sown which is kept cut short, and along the head of the graves beautiful English flowers are growing. It is in the cemetery that many of the Durhams are buried who fell August 5th 1915. Some of the other cemeteries are beautifully kept and are now waiting the permanent stones and to be permanently enclosed. The one joining Ypres Town Cemetery is particularly nice and much better cared for than most cemeteries at home. The Railway Dug Outs Cemetery, Transport Farm, in which we are especially interested, is not so far advanced.
The original grass is kept cut and the crosses seen to, but no new grass has been sown or flowers planted.
A number of local boys of the 13th Durhams are buried there, and for the information of their relatives, whose addresses I do not know, I would say that we found the graves of the following in good order and that we removed the weeds and planted flowers on all.
Youens, 2nd Lieut. V.C.
Hilditch, L.P. L/Cpl.
MacAdam, J. Cpl.
Sample, J.W. L/Cpl.
Shaw, J.R., Cpl.
Boggis, B. Pte.
Cohen, P. Pte.
Garbutt, T. Pte.
Henderson, E. Pte.
Lead, R.H. Pte.
Malley, A.O., Pte.
Metcalfe, R.H. Pte.
Milne, N. Pte.
Moor, E. Pte
Sandall, D. Pte.
Smith, D. Pte.
Taylor, R. Pte.
Tunnicliffe, W.T. Pte.
Turner, C.W.G. Pte.
I shall be pleased to give any further information and show photographs to any one interested Yours truly,
P.E. HESLETON.
September 1921.