Flatiron Copse

Location

Flatiron Copse Cemetery is on the right hand side of D929, Amiens-Albert-Bapaume, 10 kilometres east of Albert. From Albert take the right turn at Y junction (102nd Infantry Brigade Memorial) after the Routiers restaurant, on the D20. Follow on the D20 through Ovillers/La Boisselle and Bazentin, then after 2 kilometres the Cemetery is signposted onto a 750 metre mud track.

The Cemetery is accessible by car. The track continues towards the 38th (Welsh) Divisional Memorial opposite Mametz Wood however I would suggest caution in anything other than very dry weather.

Flatiron Copse Cemetery

Historical Information

Flatiron Copse was the name given by the army to a small plantation a little to the east of Mametz Wood. The ground was taken by the 3rd and 7th Divisions on 14 July 1916 and an advanced dressing station was established at the copse. The cemetery was begun later that month and it remained in use until April 1917.

Two further burials were made in August 1918 and after the Armistice, more than 1,100 graves were brought in from smaller cemeteries and from the neighbouring battlefields. Almost all the concentrated graves are those of men who died in the summer and autumn of 1916.

Flatiron Copse Cemetery

There are now 1,568 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 416 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 36 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and nine buried in Mametz Wood Cemetery whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

 
Edward Dwyer VC

Corporal 10523 Edward Dwyer VC
1st Bn East Surrey Regiment
Died on 3rd September 1916 aged 20
Holder of the Cross of St George (Russia)

London Gazette dated 21st May 1915

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Hill 60 [In Belgium] on the 20th April 1915.

When his trench was heavily attacked by German grenade throwers he climbed on to the parapet, and, although subjected to a hail of bombs at close quarters, succeeded in dispersing the enemy by the effective use of his hand grenades.

Private Dwyer displayed great gallantry earlier on this day in leaving his trench, under heavy shell fire, to bandage his wounded comrades.

Grave: III J 3

Hill 60 Tha Battle for Hill 60
 
Private John Burns

Private John Burns 17432
12th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 15th July 1916 aged 31
Husband of Dora Burns, of 15, Inkerman, Tow Law, Co. Durham

Grave: XI H 4

 

Brothers within the cemetery

Rather unusually there are three sets of brothers buried in the cemetery:

Henry and Thomas Hardwidge, Graves VIII F 5 and VIII F 6
Ernest and Herbert Philby, Graves I D 35 and I D 36
Arthur and Leonard Tregaskis, Graves VI G 1 and VI G 2

The Harwidge Brothers

The Harwidge Brothers
Lance Corporal Henry Hardwidge 20649 and Corporal Thomas Hardwidge 26634
15th Bn Welch Regiment, both died on 11 July 1916

 

The 38th (Welsh) Division The 38th (Welsh) Division