Monday, 7 August 2017


The final act on our journey of remembrance in Belgium to locate the last resting places of the employees of Manchester Corporation Tramways who fought and died in the Great War took us away from the town of Ypres.

Talbot House, 2017
The town of Poperinge is a short train journey to the west of Ypres.

During the Great War the town was, like Ypres, in the small part of Belgium not occupied by the German Army.

It was far enough away from the battle strewn area of the Ypres Salient to be able to provide a safe resting place for the allied troops.

In December 1915 two army chaplains Neville Talbot and Philip “Tubby” Clayton purchased a building in the Town and opened a club called Talbot House (Toc H).

Grave of James Taylor, 2017
This house provided a quiet space for all the allied soldiers, regardless of rank, fighting in the area

Today that house, Talbot House – Everyman’s Club is still there providing a quite space from everyday life.

They still give free tea and cake to all those who pass through. It is also a museum telling the story of the house, the Great War and the many soldiers who passed through its doors. It is well worth a visit if ever you find yourself in Poperinge.

Ljssenthoek Cemetery. 2017
Just 4Kms to the south west of Poperinge lies the village of Lljssenthoek, which is were the Lljssenthoek Military Cemetery is situated.

The Cemetery contains the graves of 9,877 soldiers, the majority from the Commonwealth with a number of French and German casualties.

What makes Lljssenthoek unique is that most of the graves are identified. The reason for this is that there was a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) established in the vicinity and so every wounded soldier who was treated was registered on entering its walls.
Lljssenthoek is the last resting place of an employee of Manchester Corporation Tramways (MCT).

James Naylor was a trolley boy with MCT. He was gunner 705171 and served with “B” Battery 165th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He died of his wounds on the 23rd October 1918 and is buried in Lljssenthoek Military Cemetery grave ref: XXXV.A.37

The Photo Wall
In 2009 the Lljssenthoek Project was created. Its purpose was to establish a visitor centre which eventually opened in 2012.

Its focus was to do research into the medical services and the stories of how the wounded soldiers were treated following their injuries in the battle area and who were brought to the CCS behind the lines.

Many thousands did not survive their wounds and they are buried at Lljssenthoek Military Cemetery.

To this end they have a Photo Wall within the visitor which shows the faces of the soldiers already found as a result of research. It is my intention to send them whatever info I have on James Naylor and a photo of him if I can locate one.

If you have any info on James Naylor or any other employee on the MCT Memorial Plaque please contact me at or by mobile 07985490124


© Martin Logan, 2017-08-06

Location; Poperinge

Pictures; Talbot House and grave of James Naylor, from the collection of Martin Logan, 2017, and Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and Visitor Centre Photo Wall.

No comments:

Post a Comment