London Cemetery

Location

Longueval is a village 40 kilometres north-east of Amiens and 12 kilometres east-north-east of Albert, a town on the D929 road from Amiens to Bapaume and Cambrai. From the D929 direction Bapaume-Albert take the 2nd turning for Martinpuich and continue along the D6 direction Longueval, for 2 kilometres. London Cemetery and Extension will be found on the right hand side of the road.

The Entrance Gate

Historical Information

High Wood was fiercely fought over during the Battle of the Somme until cleared by 47th (London) Division on 15 September 1916. It was lost during the German advance of April 1918, but retaken the following August.

The original London Cemetery at High Wood was begun when 47 men of the 47th Division were buried in a large shell hole on 18 and 21 September 1916.

The original rows of graves

Other burials were added later, mainly of officers and men of the 47th Division who died on 15 September 1916, and at the Armistice the cemetery contained 101 graves.

The cemetery was then greatly enlarged when remains were brought in from the surrounding battlefields, but the original battlefield cemetery is preserved intact within the larger cemetery, now know as the London Cemetery and Extension.

The cemetery, one of five in the immediate vicinity of Longueval which together contain more than 15 000 graves, is the third largest cemetery on the Somme with 3 871 First World War burials; 3 112 of them unidentified.

London Cemetery and Extension was used again in 1946 by the Army Graves Service for the reburial of Second World War casualties recovered from various temporary burial grounds, French military cemeteries, small communal cemeteries, churchyards and isolated graves, where permanent maintenance was not possible.

These graves are in one central plot at the extreme end of the cemetery, behind the Cross of Sacrifice. Second World War burials number 165.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

 
Captains Henderson and Gauld

Captain David Henderson
8th Bn Middlesex Regiment
Attached 19th Bn
Died on 15th September 1916 aged 27
Son of Rt Hon Arthur Henderson, LL.D., M.P. and of Eleanor Henderson

Peace was the prize
Of all is toil and care

Arthur Henderson was the leader of the British Labour Party in 1916 and had become the first Labour member of a Cabinet when Prime Minister Herbert Asquith invited him to join his coalition government.

Asquith's own son: Raymond is buried not far away at Guillemont Road Cemetery.

Grave: 1A A 14

Guillemont Road Cemetery Guillemont Road Cemetery

Captain Alexander Gauld
19th Bn County of London Regiment
Died on 15th September 1916 aged 23
Son of Alexander and Isabella Gauld, of 24, Hornsey Lane, Highgate, London

Grave: 1A A 14

 
Looking up towards High Wood

Looking up towards High Wood

 

Burial of an unknown soldier

On the 29th April 2008 an unknown soldier from the Gloucestershire Regiment was laid to rest in the cemetery.

Captain Philip Stoner RN represented the British Embassy and Lieutenant Colonel Tim Lerwill OBE the soldier's regiment which now forms part of The Rifles.

For a moment it poured with rain but that didn't deter the few who had come to pay their respects.

And so an English soldier who had been found by some Dutch tourists was finally laid to rest with a Scottish lament played by a Kiwi piper !

An unknown soldier An unknown soldier An unknown soldier An unknown soldier