The cemetery was first used from September to December 1917 for burials from the 3rd Australian and 44th Casualty Clearing Stations, which had been moved to Poperinghe (now Poperinge) in preparation for the 1917 Battle of Ypres. The cemetery was used again by fighting units between March and October 1918, the period of the German offensive in Flanders. The cemetery contains 1,556 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 37 German war graves from this period. There are also 24 Second World War burials in the cemetery, all dating from the Allied retreat to Dunkirk in 1940. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. Among the 270 New Zealanders buried here is Dave Gallaher. David "Dave" Gallaher (30 October 1873 - 4 October 1917) was a new Zealand rugby union footballer, best known as the captain of "The Originals", the first New Zealand national rugby union team to be known as the All Blacks. Gallaher fought in the Boer War serving as a corporal in the 6th and 10th New Zealand Contingents of Mounted Rifles. Although exempt from conscription due to his age, Gallaher also volunteered to fight in World War I, and apparently altered his date of birth to 31 October 1876 (see link to NZEF form below). He saw action at Ypres, and was killed during the Passchendaele offensive on 4 October 1917. He is buried at Nine Elms Cemetery, Poperinge, where his gravestone bears the silver fern.


Helleketelweg 1
8970 Poperinge


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