Prowse Point Cemetery

Cemetery Details

Location Ploegsteert, Hainaut - Wallonia, Belgium
Co‑ordinates N50.744062, E2.898
Description

Prowse Point is one of a number of cemeteries in the vicinity of Ploegsteert Wood, which played a key role as the assembly area for the 3rd Division in the Battle of Messines in June  1917. 

Nearby cemeteries include Mud Corner, Toronto Avenue (the only all Australian cemetery in Belgium) Ploegsteert Wood Cemetery and Rifle House cemetery.

The ground around here was fought over many times beginning in October 1914, when the British Hampshire Light infantry and the Somerset Light Infantry made a famous stand here against the advancing Germans, and a Major Prowse (Somersets) distinguished himself to the extent that unusually, this cemetery is named for him.  He was to die on the first day of the Somme (1 July 1916) two years later as a Brigadier.

The vicinity is supposedly the site of the soccer match between German and English soldiers during the Christmas Truce in 1914.  There is a fascinating Australian connection to this incident.  Decorated Vietnam veteran, Mike von Berg MC (/explore/people/378591), had a Great Uncle named Walther Kirchoff.  He was a famous opera singer who Kaiser Wilhelm thought too valuable to go to the front line so he appointed Walther as his ADC. Walther on Christmas Eve 1914 was near the western front with the Kaiser where he encouraged the Kaiser to arrange Christmas trees to be delivered to the 120th and 124th Wurttemberg Regiments. On Christmas Eve, Walther went down to the front lines to sing to the troops which was the catalyst for the truce of 1914 and the plot for the movie Le Joeux Noel. Walther after the war sang in all of the great opera houses of the world but sadly his life was never the same after WW1. 

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Names

Showing 7 people of interest from cemetery

NURSE, Albert Edward

Service number 4174
Sapper
4th Field Company Engineers
AIF WW1
Born Nov 1895

JENNINGS, Charles John

Service number 3169
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 10 Dec 1889

SUMMERS, Riccard William

Service number 4886
Private
50th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 9 Feb 1893

MCGUIRE, John Joseph

Service number 6360
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 5 May 1893

HARRY, Charles Melville

Service number 587
Corporal
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 29 Apr 1897

MATHER, Alan James

Service number 1983
Private
33rd Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Nov 1879

CULLEN, Frank

Service number 6059
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 16 Jun 1886

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