25th August 1917 Saturday
Heavy casualties for both sides in the battle for Langemarck
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“On the 25th August Capt. Riddell and I were sent forward to Burnt Farm to establish an Advanced Dressing Station there. It was a cemented cellar in a heap of bricks in an exposed position on the eastern slope of the ridge. Not a healthy spot at all. The Steenbecque River was in front of us and Iron Cross – another extra hot spot, which the enemy shelled continuously – behind. I saw one of our aeroplanes have one of its wings blown off by one of our shells. Both aviators – young Canadians – were killed when the machine crashed close to us. The Engineers opened up an old enemy trench near us, and came across many dead Germans.”
There were a number of so named Burnt Farms on the Western Front and there were two in the area around Ypres. This particular Burnt Farm was also known as the Cement House and is commemorated today with the Cement House Cemetery, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here