Roclincourt Valley

Location

Roclincourt is a village a little to the east of the road from Arras to Lens. Take the N17 from Arras until the junction of this road and the D60. Travel along the D60 into Roclincourt village. Roclincourt Valley Cemetery lies to the north-east of the village and to the east of the road to Thélus.

Roclincourt Valley Cemetery

Historical Information

Roclincourt was just within the British lines before the Battles of Arras, 1917; and it was from the village that the 51st (Highland) and 34th Divisions advanced on the 9th April 1917.

The 1st Canadian Division attacked further North, across the Lens road. Roclincourt Valley Cemetery (originally called Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No. 2) was begun after the 9th April 1917, by the units which fought on that day, and used until the following August; and it then contained the graves of 94 soldiers, of whom 40 belonged to the 51st Division and five were French soldiers who had fallen in 1915. (The French graves have been removed).

Plot I, Row F, was completed, and Plots II-IV made, after the Armistice, by the concentration of graves from smaller cemeteries and from the battlefields. These graves are almost all of April 1917, and the majority of the soldiers buried in them belonged to the 34th and 51st Divisions.

Three of the wooden memorial crosses of the Tyneside battalions were brought in at the same time.

There are now nearly 550, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 80 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to four soldiers from the United Kingdom known, or believed, to be buried among them.

The cemetery covers an area of 2,110 square metres and is enclosed by a stepped rubble wall.

Roclincourt Valley Cemetery

The more important cemeteries concentrated into Roclincourt Valley Cemetery were the following

King Crater Cemetery, Roclincourt, 1.6 kilometres East of the village, in a mine crater far from any road. It contained five big graves, made by the 34th Division in the middle of April 1917; and in them were buried 99 soldiers from the United Kingdom, all of whom fell on the 9th April, and all but two of whom belonged to the Tyneside Brigades of the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Kite Crater Cemetery, St Laurent-Blangy, 1.6 kilometres South-East of Roclincourt village. It contained five big graves, in which were buried 53 soldiers from the United Kingdom (mainly of the 34th Division), who fell on the 9th April 1917.

Rabs Road Cemetery, St Laurent-Blangy, on the Arras Bailleul road, 1.6 kilometres South-East of Roclincourt village. It contained the graves of 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom, 16 of whom belonged to the 15th or 16th Royal Scots, and all of whom fell on the 9th or the 13th April 1917.

Roclincourt Long Cemetery (called at one time Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No. 3), in a field 1.2 kilometres North of the Village. It contained the graves of 68 officers and men of the 51st Division who fell on the 9th April 1917.

Thélus Road Cemetery, Roclincourt, by the roadside 1.6 kilometres North of the village. It was made by the XVII Corps, and it contained the graves of 42 officers and men of the 51st Division who fell on the 9th April 1917.

Roclincourt Valley Cemetery
 
Three Artillery Officers

Three Artillery Officers

Major Philip Bailey
15th Battery 36th Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
Died on 26th April 1917
aged 31
Son of Mrs L Bailey, of 11, Herne Hill Mansions, London, and the late Doctor J Bailey.
Born at Bognor, Sussex

2nd Lieutenant William Manifold
15th Battery 36th Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
Died on 26th April 1917
aged 27
Son of William and Alice Manifold, of Purrumbete. Weerite, Victoria, Australia

Major Victor Walrond
15th Battery 36th Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
Died on 26th April 1917
aged 27
Son of Arthur and Marion Walrond, late of Redhayes, Pinhoe, Devon
Twice Mentioned in Despatches

Grave: I C 3

Grave: I C 2

Grave: I C 1

 
Lance Corporal David Mitchell

Lance Corporal David Mitchell 351258
9th Bn Royal Scots
Died on 9th April 1917 aged 30
Son of William Mitchell, of Allan St. House, Blairgowrie, Perthshire

Grave: II G 8

 

Shot at Dawn

Private Edward Bolton

Private Edward Bolton 10263
1st Bn Cheshire Regiment
Died on 14th April 1916

Bolton had already received a suspended death sentence when he was granted leave. A regular soldier he failed to return to his unit and it was some months later that he was eventually tracked down working as a civilian under a false identity. He was duly tried and executed for Desertion.

Grave: II F 7

 

Highland Cemetery Highland Cemetery
Roclincourt Military Roclincourt Military Cemetery
Arras 1917 Arras 1917
SAD List of Soldiers Shot at Dawn