Owl Trench

Location

Hébuterne is a village in the department of the Pas de Calais situated 15 kilometres north of Albert (Somme) and 20 kilometres south-west of Arras. The Cemetery is situated 2 kilometres to the east of the village on the road between Foncquevillers and Puisieux.

Rossignol Wood Cemetery is a few hundred metres away on the same side of the road.

Owl Trench Cemetery

Historical Information

The village of Hébuterne was in Allied hands from 1915 until the German advance of March 1918 when part of it had to be given up. The eastern part of the commune remained in German hands until February 1917, and was theirs again in the summer of 1918.

Owl Trench was a German cross-trench before Rossignol Wood, raided by the 4th New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 15 July 1918, and cleared by the 1st Auckland Regiment five days later.

Owl Trench Cemetery

The cemetery, however, contains the graves of men who died on 27 February 1917, in an attack on German rearguards by the 31st Division. The cemetery contains 53 First World War burials.

Row A is a mass grave for 46 soldiers, 43 of whom belonged to the 16th West Yorkshires (1st Bradford Pals).

Ten of the burials in the cemetery are unidentified.

The cemetery was designed by N A Rew.

 

The Official History states:

The 31st Division also gained ground, but the 93rd Brigade, on its left was sharply checked at Rossignol Wood. An attack on the wood by the 16th West Yorkshire was for the most part held up, and such elements as reached the wood were caught by enfilading machine gun fire and practically destroyed.

The German trenches are still visible within the section of the wood opposite Rosignol Wood Cemetery.

 
West Yorkshire Regiment

16th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)
Who all died on Tuesday 27 February 1917

Lance Corporal E Nettleton 1611172

Lance Corporal Ernest Pratt 32843
Age 26
Son of Walter and Lavinia Pratt, of Leeds.

Lance Corporal Frederick Mair 32407 Age 23
Son of Hector McKenzie Mair and Ruth Mair, of 85 Hillary St
Woodhouse Lane, Leeds

Lance Corporal A W Newsholme 161781

Private J W Palmer 17/1584

Private F W Naughton 32947

Private C Douglas 38591

Private A E Green 37480

Private Leonard Hainsworth 15481
who died on Sunday 25 February 1917 Age 38
Husband of Lilian Robinson (formerly Hainsworth),
Matlock Rd, Ambergate, Derbyshire.

 
KOYLI

Soldiers from the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

 

Other nearby cemeteries:

Rossignol Wood Rossignol Wood
Gommecourt No 2 Gommecourt British Cemetery No 2
Gommecourt Wood Gommecourt Wood New Cemetery