So I seem to have forgotten about another cemetery site that had a similar fence to the one at Ferme Buterne (that isn’t a communal cemetery with a few commonwealth graves in it). It’s at Cite Bonjean, which is only a short distance from Houplines over in Armentieres.
I’m not sure looking there would clear up much because I was able to link several places I remember to places John would have been, but for the sake of completeness maybe I should see if I can find a gravesite there that matches what I originally saw more closely. Still, I think Ferme Buterne is probably the place if it’s anywhere.
One particular detail about Cite Bonjean that made me focus more on Ferme Buterne in the first place was the fact that the headstones at Cite Bonjean are back-to-back. I distinctly saw headstones that were in single rows and Ferme Buterne has them that way. As such finding a grave that looks like the right position will be difficult.
Still, the cemetery being similar makes me think that there may be something I’m overlooking. Maybe the fact that the details I found match John so well are just a matter of random chance, and I should probably compare them to the lives of some other soldiers selected at random. I may be able to find some soldiers who have more known about them to compare my notes against. I’m going to try to do this, if I can find the information, and I’ll post my results when I do.