Vauxbuin Cemeteries

Location

Vauxbuin is a village 4 kilometres to the south-west of Soissons, and Vauxbuin French National Cemetery can be reached from the direction of Soissons via the N2, Soissons to Paris road. It is necessary to go around the Soissons ring road following the signs for Paris. On leaving the Soissons ring road via a large roundabout, continue to follow the signs for Paris via the N2. Vauxbuin French National Cemetery lies 3 kilometres along this road on the right side.

This is an extremely busy road and should be approached from Soissons.

The Commission Plot forms a small part of this large French Cemetery which is situated adjacent to a German military cemetery.

Historical Information

The village was passed by British troops on the 31st August 1914, in the Retreat from Mons; and British troops fought in the neighbourhood in 1918.

The British plot, made after the Armistice, contains the graves of soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in 1914 and 1918 and belonged to the 4th, 5th, 15th (Scottish) and 34th Divisions.

There are now nearly 300, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, almost half are unidentified and special memorials are erected to three soldiers believed to be buried among them. The British plot covers an area of 1,240 square metres.

 
The three cemeteries at dusk

The three cemeteries at dusk

 

The following were among the burial grounds from which British graves were transferred to Vauxbuin French National Cemetery.

Ambleny French National Cemetery, now a permanent cemetery of 10,266 burials, on the North side of the Compiegne-Soissons main road. Here were buried two British soldiers who fell on the 1st April 1918.

Dommiers British Cemetery, on the East side of that village, which contained the graves of 50 soldiers of the 15th Division who fell in July and August 1918.

Le Pressoir French Military Cemetery, Ambleny, in which were buried 370 French soldiers, 33 German, and three British who died in French hospitals in April 1918.

Longpont French Military Cemetery, Aisne, (in a garden near La Grille Farm), where one British soldier was buried in July 1918; the 628 French graves also were moved to Vauxbuin.

Pargny-Filain Communal Cemetery, used by the Germans in 1914-15; one British soldier was buried there in September 1914.

Soissons Communal Cemetery Extension, made by the French, on the West side of the Communal Cemetery. The graves of 88 British soldiers (who fell for the most part in 1914) were reburied here from the battlefields, but both French and British graves have been removed.

Terny-Sorny French Military Cemetery (at the North-East end of the village), which contained the graves of 365 French soldiers and those of two RGA Gunners who died in May 1917.

Vauxbuin Communal Cemetery, where two men of the 58th (London) Division were buried in April, 1918.

Vauxbuin (1870) French Military Cemetery (Cimetière des Fusillés) near the Church, where two British soldiers were buried, among French and German, in April 1918.

Vezaponin Communal Cemetery French Extension, which contained 80 French graves and those of five British soldiers who died in March 1918.

Villers-Helon French Military Cemetery, which contained 120 French graves and those of three British soldiers who fell in July 1918.

 

French National Cemetery

The French National Cemetery was made by the French Graves Service in 1920-1924 as a concentration cemetery for soldiers buried within a 15 kilometre radius.

The French Military Cemetery
 

The German Soldatenfriedhof

Vauxbuin Soldatenfriedhof

A small number of those buried here are from the autumn of 1914 during the German advance and retreat from the Marne.

There are also a few burials from battles to secure the line along the Chemin des Dames in February 1915

A second larger group lost their lives during the French Nivelle Offensive against the Chemin des Dames in April 1917.

The majority of those here though fell during the final great German offensives in 1918. In particular the offensive in May and the allies counter attacks of July and August.

The engraved stone crosses date from 1973.

Of the 9,229 burials within the German plot only 3,672 have individual graves. The majority are identified with only 13 remaining unknown (Unbekantt). However in the four community graves there are 5,557 soldiers of whom 4,779 remain unknown.

 
Lt Colonel James A Turner

Lieutenant Colonel James A Turner DSO MC
2nd Bn Royal Scots
Who died on 26 July 1918

Grave: I A 20

Private John Martin

Private John Martin 350600
4th/5th Bn Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
Who died on 26 July 1918 aged 31

Son of Mr and Mrs E Hugh Martin; husband of Jessie Martin, of 33, Peddie St, Dundee. Born at Dundee.

Grave: Special Memorial B 1