Vendresse British

Location

Vendresse is a village in the Department of the Aisne 16 kilometres south of Laon. Vendresse British Cemetery is 800 metres north of the village on the west side of the road to Laon.

Vendresse village can be reached from the direction of Laon by following the D967, Laon to Fismes road. From this direction the road is scenic.

You will cross the Chemin des Dames at Cerny en Laonnois before descending the hill towards Vendresse. The cemetery will be on your right about 500 metres down the hill.

Alternatively, when approaching from Soissons via Vailly-sur-Aisne on the D925, turn left at Bourg et Comin in the direction of Laon, D967. You will pass Vendresse village and the cemetery will be on your left as you rise up towards Cerny.

Historical Information

The neighbourhood of Vendresse-Et-Troyon was the scene of repeated and severe fighting in which British troops took part in 1914 and 1918.

Vendresse British Cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from other cemeteries and from the battlefields.

There are now over 700, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over half are unidentified and almost all of whom fell in 1914 or 1918.

Vendresse Cemetery

Special memorials are erected to three soldiers, known or believed to be buried here in unnamed graves; and other special memorials record the names of 50 United Kingdom soldiers buried in other cemeteries whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.

In 37 instances, graves identified collectively but not individually are marked by headstones superscribed: Buried near this spot.

The British Cemetery covers an area of 2,188 square metres and is enclosed (except on the roadside) by a low stone rubble wall.

The Chemin des Dames The Chemin des Dames
 

The following were among the burial grounds from which British graves were moved to Vendresse British Cemetery.

Beaurieux French Military Cemetery, where 16 British soldiers were buried by the Germans in May-July 1918.

Bourg-et-Comin French Military Cemeteries A and B (Madagascar), where two British soldiers were buried, one in 1914 and one in 1918.

Californe French Military Cemetery, CRAONNE, where one British soldier was buried by the enemy in May 1918.

Cerny-en-Laonnois French National and German Cemeteries, both great permanent burial grounds; 59 British soldiers were buried in the German in 1914, and nine in the French in 1914 and 1918.

Chamouille German Cemetery, where 16 British soldiers were buried in 1914.

Chivy-les-Etouvelles German Cemetery, four in number, containing graves of 13 British soldiers who fell in 1914.

Morieulois German Cemetery, Crepy-en-Laonnois, where seven British soldiers were buried in July and August, 1918.

Moussy-sur-Aisne Churchyard, where 14 British soldiers were buried in September, 1914.

Oeuilly Churchyard, Aisne, which contained four British graves of 1914.

Troyon Churchyard, Aisne, which contained 50 British graves of 1914.

Verneuil Chateau Military Cemetery, where 46 British soldiers were buried in 1914 from the Dressing Station in the Chateau. In October, 1915, the French 57th Infantry Regiment erected a stone memorial (now removed to Vendresse) to their British comrades.

Verneuil Churchyard, Marne, where one British soldier was buried in October, 1914.

 
Brigadier General Ralph Husey

Brigadier General Ralph Husey DSO and Bar, MC
Commanding 25th Infantry Brigade
London Regt (London Rifle Brigade)
Died on 30th May 1918 aged 36
Four times Mentioned in Despatches. Order of Danilo, 4th Class (Montenegro).
Son of Hubert Husey, of 65 Cornwall Gardens, Kensington, London
Landed in France 4th November 1914. Wounded four times.

Grave: II G 1

Lieutenant Colonel James Thomson

Lieutenant Colonel James Thomson DSO
5th Bn Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 27th May 1918 aged 42
Croix de Guerre (France)
Son of James and Eliza Thomson
Husband of Ethel Thomson, of The Uplands, Malton, Yorks.
Born at Huddersfield.

Grave: II A 2

 

There are further British burials in the local churchyard

Vendresse Churchyard Vendresse Churchyard