Zillebeke village and most of the commune were in British hands during the greater part of the War; but the number of cemeteries in the neighbourhood bears witness to the fierce fighting in the vicinity from 1914 to 1918. Bedford House, sometimes known as Woodcote House, were the names given by the Army to the Chateau Rosendael, 1,830 metres South of the Lille Gate of Ypres. It was a country house in a small wooded park, with moats. It never fell into enemy hands, but the house and the trees were gradually destroyed by shell fire. It was used by Field Ambulances, and as the Headquarters of Brigades and other fighting units; and charcoal pits were started in October, 1917.
The property became, in time, largely covered by small cemeteries. Five Enclosures existed at the date of the Armistice; but the graves from No. 1 were then removed to White House Cemetery, St. Jean, and those from No. 5 to Aeroplane Cemetery, Ypres. Enclosure No. 2 was begun in December, 1915, and used until October, 1918; and after the Armistice 437 graves were added, all but four of which came from the Ecole de Bienfaisance and Asylum British Cemeteries, both at Ypres. There are over 30 unidentified graves and special memorials are erected (in No. 4) to 24 United Kingdom soldiers and one Australian, known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials (in No. 2) record the names of two United Kingdom soldiers, buried in the two cemeteries at Ypres, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. Certain graves in Plots VII, VIII and XV, identified collectively but not individually, are marked by headstones superscribed: 'Buried near this spot'. Enclosure No. 3, the smallest, was used from February, 1915, to December, 1916; the burials in August-October, 1915, were largely carried out by the 17th Division. Enclosure No. 4, the largest, was used from June, 1916, to February, 1918, largely by the 47th (London) Division; and after the Armistice it was enlarged by the concentration of 3,324 graves from other burial grounds and from the battlefields of the Ypres Salient. Almost two-thirds of the graves are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 25 soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves could not be found. Enclosure No. 6 was made in 1930's from the concentration of graves from the battlefield of the Ypres Salient. There are also graves of the 1939-1945 War, all of them soldiers of the British Army, who died in the defence of the Ypres-Comines canal and railway at the end of May 1940. It lies on high ground on the west side of the cemetery. There are now 5142, 1914-18 and 66, 1939-45 Commonwealth war casualties commemorated in all four sites, 3014 casualties of the first world war are unidentified. Also commemorated here are 2 Foreign National casualties. Enclosures 2, 3, and 4 cover an area of 21,541 square metres. They are bounded on the North by a moat and on the other sides by a rubble wall.
The following were burial grounds from which British graves were concentrated to Bedford House:
- ASYLUM BRITISH CEMETERY, YPRES, was established in the grounds of a mental hospital (the Hospice du Sacre Caeur) a little West of the railway station, between the Poperinghe road and the railway. It was used by Field Ambulances and fighting units from February, 1915, to November, 1917, and it contained the graves of 265 soldiers from the United Kingdom, nine from Canada, seven from Australia and two of the British West Indies Regiment.
- BOESINGHE FRENCH CEMETERY No. 2, a little South of Bard Cottage, contained the grave of one soldier from the United Kingdom.
- DROOGENBROODHOEK GERMAN CEMETERY, MOORSLEDE, contained the graves of two United Kingdom soldiers who fell in October, 1914.
- ECOLE DE BIENFAISANCE CEMETERY, YPRES, was on the North side of the Poperinghe road, immediately West of the railway, in the grounds of a school (now rebuilt). It was used by Field Ambulances in 1915-1917, and it contained the graves of 133 soldiers from the United Kingdom, three from Canada, three from Australia and one of the British West Indies Regiment.
- KERKHOVE CHURCHYARD contained the graves of five United Kingdom soldiers, who fell in October and November, 1918, and seven German.
- POELCAPELLE GERMAN CEMETERY No. 4, between Langemarck and the Poelcapelle-St. Julien road, contained the graves of 52 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1914 and 1916.
- ZONNEBEKE BRITISH CEMETERIES No. 1 and No. 3 were on the South and North sides respectively of the Broodseinde-Zonnebeke road. Zonnebeke was occupied by the Germans on the 22nd October, 1914, retaken by the French on the following day, and evacuated at the beginning of May, 1915; retaken by British troops on the 26th September, 1917; evacuated again in April, 1918; and retaken by Belgian troops on the 28th September, 1918. Four British Cemeteries were made by the Germans on the Broodseinde-Zonnebeke road; No. 1 contained the graves of 31 United Kingdom soldiers (mainly 2nd East Surrey) who fell in April, 1915, and No. 3 those of 69 who fell in April, and May, 1915.
Burials (Commonwealth War Graves Commission):
- United Kingdom: 4483
- Canada: 390
- Australia: 249
- New Zealand: 36
- South Africa: 21
- Undivided India: 21
- Other Commonwealth: 6
- Total Commonwealth: 5206
- Other Nationalities: 2