Romeries Cemetery

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Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Location

Romeries is a village approximately 16 kilometres south of Valenciennes and 4 kilometres north-east of Solemes. The Communal Cemetery is on the west side of the village on the north side of the road to Solemes.

Historical Information

In the Retreat from Mons part of the II Corps retired through this area; and in 1918 our Army came back to it.

The Pursuit to the Selle, one phase of the Advance to Victory, lasted from the 9th to the 12th October, 1918, and the Battle of the Selle (part of the "Final Advance") from the 17th to the 25th October.

Briastre was captured on the 10th October, Belle Vue Farm on the 20th, Romeries itself and Beaudignies on the 23rd and Englefontaine on the 26th.

The Battle of the Sambre, the last great action of the War, carried the front forward into Belgium and ended with the Armistice.

Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension is one of the burial grounds of those who fell between these dates. The original Extension is Plot I. It was made by the 3rd and New Zealand Divisions, and it contains 128 graves. The remaining plots were made after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from small cemeteries and isolated positions on the battlefield, including (in Plot X) a few graves of the 25th August, 1914.

There are now over 800, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 130 are unidentified and 15 soldiers from the United Kingdom, who are believed to be buried among them, are commemorated by special headstones. The 2nd Royal Scots, the 1st Gordon Highlanders, the 8th Royal West Kents and the 1st Otago Regiment erected wooden memorials in the cemetery to their officers and men who fell on the 23rd October, 1918.

The Extension covers an area of 3,397 square metres and is enclosed by a red brick wall. Of the larger sites concentrated here:

BRIASTRE-SOLESMES ROAD MILITARY CEMETERY, BRIASTRE (Nord), was used by the 37th Division and the 1st Wellington Regiment (New Zealand) from the 11th to the 16th October, 1918. It contained the graves of 25 soldiers from the United Kingdom (12 of the 4th Middlesex) and 11 from New Zealand. It was 800 metres South-East of Briastre, across the Selle.

BRIASTRE CHURCHYARD contained the grave of one New Zealand soldier.

BELLE VUE FARM CEMETERY, BRIASTRE, was 180 metres South of the Farm, which was almost immediately East of Briastre, across the Selle. It contained the graves of 16 soldiers of the 4th Middlesex who fell on the 10th October.

BEAUDIGNIES CHURCHYARD (Nord) contained the graves of five New Zealand soldiers who fell on the 4th November.

ENGLEFONTAINE GERMAN CEMETERY contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 26th and 27th October.

GRAND GAY FARM CEMETERY, LOUVIGNIES-QUESNOY (Nord), was 1.6 kilometres South of Louvignies. There were buried in it 37 soldiers from the United Kingdom, 24 of whom belonged to the 9th Duke of Wellington's.

SALESCHES CHURCHYARD (Nord) contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 25th and 29th October.

ST. PYTHON COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION was made by the 2nd Division. It contained the graves of 23 soldiers from the United Kingdom, two from New Zealand, and one from Canada, who fell between the 27th October and the 8th November.