Guillemont Road

Location

Guillemont is a village 12 kilometres east of Albert. From the D929 direction Bapaume-Albert take the 2nd turning for Martinpuich, continuing along the D6 for 5 kilometres until the crossroads in the village of Longueval. Follow route D20 direction Guillemont until you leave Guillemont on the D64 direction Montauban. The Cemetery is 500 metres on the right as you leave Guillemont.

The entrance gate

Historical Information

Guillemont was an important point in the German defences in July 1916. It was taken by the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers on the 30th July, but the battalion was obliged to fall back; and it was again entered for a short time by the 55th (West Lancashire) Division on the 8th August.

On the 18th August it was reached by the 2nd Division, and on the 3rd September (in the Battle of Guillemont) the village was captured and cleared by the 20th (Light) and part of the 16th (Irish) Divisions. It was lost in March 1918, but retaken on the 29th August by the 18th and 38th (Welsh) Divisions.

The 20th Division erected a Memorial at the cross roads 460 metres East of the village, which has now been replaced by a permanent monument near the same spot; and a permanent Memorial to the 16th Division has been erected between Guillemont and Ginchy.

Guillemont Road Cemetery

The cemetery was begun by fighting units (mainly of the Guards Division) and Field Ambulances after the Battle of Guillemont, and was closed in March 1917. It then contained 121 burials, besides a number of regimental memorials.

It was greatly increased after the Armistice by the concentration of graves (almost all of July-September, 1916) from the battlefields immediately surrounding the village.

There are now over 2 000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, two-thirds are unidentified and a few others are identified as groups but not individually.

Special memorials are erected to eight soldiers from the United Kingdom, known or believed to be buried among the unnamed graves. Thirty-eight French graves have been removed to French cemeteries. The cemetery covers an area of 8 305 square metres and is surrounded by a rubble wall.

Delville Wood

Delville Wood in the distance

The only considerable cemetery from which British graves were brought to Guillemont Road Cemetery was.

Hardecourt French Military Cemetery. The village of Hardecourt-au-Bois was captured by French troops on the 8th July 1916, and again by the 58th (London) and 12th (Eastern) Divisions on the 28th August 1918. Five British Artillerymen were buried by their unit in the French Military Cemetery, in the middle of the village, in September 1916; and in 1918 the 12th Division buried in the same cemetery 14 men of the 9th Royal Fusiliers and two of the 7th Royal Sussex.

 
Lieutenant Raymond Asquith

Lieutenant Raymond Asquith
3rd Bn Grenadier Guards
Died on 15th September 1916 aged 37
Son of the Rt Hon (and former MP) Herbert Asquith, PC, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1908-1916 (now 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, KG), and Helen his wife
Husband of Katharine Asquith, of 17 Oxford Square, London, W2

Small time, but in that small
Most greatly lived
This star of England

An associate of Rupert Brooke, he was a barrister and scholar of high intellect and had been President of the Union at Oxford, won the Craven, Derby and Ireland Scholarships, a First in Greats and a Fellowship at All Souls.

Grave: I B 3

Major Gerald Stacey DSO

Major Gerald Stacey DSO
2nd Bn London Regiment
Royal Fusiliers
Died on 9th October 1916

Grave: I D 1

Lieutenant Colonel John Stormonth-Darling DSO

Lieutenant Colonel John Stormonth-Darling DSO
1st Bn Cameronians
Scottish Rifles
attached 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Bn Highland Light Infantry
Died on 1st November 1916 aged 38
Son of the late Patrick Stormonth-Darling and of Katherine Scott Stormonth-Darling. Native of Kelso, Roxburghshire.

Grave: I C 1