Brugseway Road, St. Jean-les-Ypres, Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Flanders, Belgium.
Now called Sint-Jan, this small village is on the outskirts of Ypres, lying to the north-east of the city on the N313.
At the entrance gates to this cemetery it says:
"THE LAND ON WHICH THIS CEMETERY STANDS IS THE FREE GIFT OF THE BELGIAN PEOPLE FOR THE PERPETUAL RESTING PLACE OF THOSE OF THE ALLIED ARMIES WHO FELL IN THE WAR OF 1914 -1918 AND ARE HONOURED HERE.”
White House cemetery was named after the 'White House' on the Ypres road between St. Jean and the bridge over the Bellewaardebeek.
White House Cemetery is located on the left-hand side of this road as it leads out of Ypres.
Right behind the cemetery is a large office block.
This cemetery begun in March 1915 and was used until April 1918 by units holding this part of the line.
It then comprised most of the present Plots I and II; but after the Armistice these Plots were completed, and Plots III (set higher on the right) and Plot IV (at the back left) added, when graves were brought in from the battlefields around Ypres (now Ieper) and by concentrating graves from eight outlying cemeteries and a number of small burial grounds in the area.
There are special memorials located at the front and on the left side of the cemetery.
There are now 1,163 Commonwealth servicemen of WWI buried or commemorated in
323 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to 16 casualties
known or believed to be buried among them.
There is also one Belgian grave.
Other special memorials record the names of 28 casualties who were buried in other
cemeteries but whose graves could not be found on concentration.
Sadly this cemetery also contains four British soldiers who deserted, and under British
law were caught and executed by the Commonwealth military authorities:
Private HH Chase of the Lancashire Fusiliers, executed for cowardice on 12 June 1915;
Private WJ Turpie of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, executed for desertion on 1 July 1915
Privates RW Gawler and AE Eveleigh of The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), executed for desertion 24 February 1916.
Private Turpie reached the United Kingdom about a month after deserting. He was apprehended by the police and confessed to being a deserter. Brought back to the Front, he was convicted at a court martial and subsequently executed.
On 7 November 2006, the British government reversed its previous decision and announced
a pardon for all soldiers executed in the Great War.
Also buried at this cemetery is Victoria-Cross holder Private Robert Morrow of the Royal
The cemetery contains eight WWII burials, all dating from May 1940.
The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, who was also responsible for the
nearby Menin Gate memorial.
The cemetery grounds were assigned to the UK in perpetuity by King Albert 1st of Belgium
in recognition of the sacrifices made by the British Empire in the defence and liberation of
Belgium during the war.
Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan. 10 October 2014. Lest we forget.