Fleurbaix is a village 5 kilometres south-west of Armentières on the D22. Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery will be found by taking the D171 from Fleurbaix towards Fauquissart, then the D175 towards Petillon. The cemetery is on the south side of the road from Petillon to La Boutillerie.
From Fromelles or the Australian Cobbers Memorial continue out the road past VC Corner Cemetery. Turn right and pass the Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery. Continue along this road and the cemetery will be on your right.
The cemetery was begun in December 1914, and used by fighting units until March 1918. In April 1918, it fell into enemy hands, but one further burial was in September 1918, after the German retreat.
It consisted at the Armistice of twelve Battalion burial grounds, made by units which had occupied the Headquarters and Dressing Station at Eaton Hall, adjoining the cemetery.
It was enlarged later by the concentration of graves from other cemeteries and the battlefields over a wide area round Fleurbaix.
There are now just over 1,500, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly half are unidentified and a special memorial is erected to one soldier from the United Kingdom, believed to be buried among them.
Other special memorials record the names of two Indian soldiers; and a third group commemorates 15 Canadian soldiers, five from the United Kingdom one from Australia, buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.
Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery is irregularly arranged, because of the conditions under which it was made; and the groups of concentrated burials are among the original groups of graves. It covers area is 5,983 square metres and is enclosed by a low red brick wall.
The following were among the burial grounds from which British graves were brought to this cemetery
Bersée Churchyard (now closed), in which three soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried in October 1918.
Cuthbert Farm Cemetery, Richebourg-l'Avoue, on the road from Neuve-Chapelle to Pont-Logy, containing the graves of 44 soldiers from the United Kingdom and two from India who fell in 1914-15.
Don German Cemetery, Allennes-les-Marais, at the Chateau-du-Bois, containing the graves of nine soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from India who fell in 1914-18.
Eighth Canadians Cemetery, Lens, 2.4 kilometres North of the centre of Lens, containing the graves of 15 soldiers of the 8th Canadian Infantry Battalion, who fell in August 1917.
Gondecourt Communal Cemetery German Extension, in which were buried about 650 German soldiers and ten soldiers and one airman from the United Kingdom.
Halpegarbe German Cemetery, Illies, in the hamlet of Halpegarbe, which contained the graves of eight soldiers from the United Kingdom. (There was another on the South side of the hamlet.)
Hantay Communal Cemetery German Extension, containing the graves of one soldier from the United Kingdom and one from India.
Herrin Churchyard and German Extension; the Germans buried five soldiers from the United Kingdom in the Churchyard in 1915 and two in the Extension in 1918.
Illies Churchyard, where the Germans buried one soldier from the United Kingdom in 1914.
La Bassée Communal Cemetery German Extension, used by the Germans for the burial of seven soldiers from the United Kingdom and by the 55th (West Lancashire) Division in October 1918, for the burial of 29 of their men.
Lambersart Communal Cemetery German Extension, which contained the graves of 1,016 German soldiers, 32 soldiers and airmen from the United Kingdom and two soldiers from Australia; and Lambersart German Cemetery, a permanent cemetery of 5,045 burials on the North-West side of the village.
Le Petit Mortier German Cemetery, Steenwerck, which contained the graves of 86 German soldiers and two from the United Kingdom.
Merris Convent German Cemetery, in which one Australian soldier was buried in May 1918.
Rue Masselot (2nd Lincolns) Cemetery, Laventie, 800 metres North of Fauquissart, where 54 soldiers from the United Kingdom including 37 of the 2nd Lincolns) were buried in 1915 and 1918 in an orchard. In May-August 1918, the Germans made two considerable cemeteries (now removed), almost surrounding it.
Salomé Churchyard German Extension, containing the grave of an officer of the HLI. The German graves were taken to Salomé Communal Cemetery German Extension (now containing 2,374 burials), from which twelve British graves were removed to Rue-Petillon.
Verlinghem Churchyard German Extension (now removed), containing the graves of three British soldiers. (Verlinghem German Cemetery, on the South-West outskirts of the village, is permanent, and contains 1,152 burials.)
Wervicq-sud German Cemetery (now removed), on the road to Le Blaton, where 23 soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried in November 1914 and April 1918; five graves were removed to Rue-Petillon and 18 to Messines Ridge British Cemetery.
Lieutenant Thomas Loder-Symonds
2nd Bn The Cameronians
Died on 9th May 1915 aged 22
Son of Captain F and Mrs Loder-Symonds of Hinton Manor, Faringdon, Berks
Grave: II M 13
Private J Mills 7687
2nd Bn Lincolnshire Regiment
Died on 21st December 1914/p>
Grave: III B 3
Private W Hill 871453
8th Bn Canadian Infantry
Died on 15th August 1917 aged 34
Son of William Hill, of Falmouth, England
Husband of Helen Hill, of 489, Elgin Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
8th Canadian Cemetery Lens. Memorial 6