Villers Hill


Villers-Guislain is a village 16 kilometres south-south-west of Cambrai and 4 kilometres east of Gouzeaucourt, which is a large village on the main road from Cambrai to Peronne. Villers Hill British Cemetery is one kilometre south-east of the village.

There are CWGC signs from the village. Be prepared that should you wish to continue to Targelle Ravine and Meath Cemeteries that after Villers Hill British Cemetery the track becomes a little rough.

As you come down the hill you will see Targelle Ravine Cemetery in front of you - where you turn right for Meath Cemetery - and other cemeteries further away which you cannot reach via this particular farm track.

Cairn left by school children

Cairn left by local infant school children

Historical Information

Villers-Guislain was occupied by Commonwealth forces from April 1917 until the German counter attacks (in the Battle of Cambrai) at the end of November 1917. It was lost on 30 November and retained by the Germans on 1 December in spite of the fierce attacks of the Guards Division and tanks.

Looking down on Targelle Ravine and Cemetery

Looking down on Targelle Ravine and Cemetery
Note that it is not possible to reach Pigeon Ravine Cemetery - in the distance - along this track


The village was finally abandoned by the Germans on 30 September 1918, after heavy fighting. Villers Hill British Cemetery was begun (as the Middlesex Cemetery, Gloucester Road) by the 33rd Division Burial Officer on 3 October 1918, and used until the middle of October.

Villers Hill British Cemetery

The original cemetery (now Plot I) contained 100 graves, of which 50 belonged to the 1st Middlesex and 35 to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Men from Middlesex

Men from Middlesex with Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the row behind

Plot II and VII were added after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields and from local German cemeteries. The great majority of these graves are those of officers and men who died in April 1917, November-December 1917, March 1918 and September 1918.

The cemetery now contains 732 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 350 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to seven casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate casualties buried in Gonnelieu Communal Cemetery and Honnecourt German Cemetery whose grave could not be found.

The cemetery also contains 13 German burials. The cemetery was designed by Charles Holden.

Charles Husband

Private Charles Husband 550307
Lord Strathcona's Horse CEF
Died on 1st December 1917 aged 29
Son of Alfred Husband, of Milk River, British West Indies

Grave: II A 21

Royden Okey

Lieutenant Royden Okey MC
1st Bn Wellington Regiment NZEF
Died on 30th September 1918 aged 25
Son of Frederick and Elizabeth Okey, of Vogeltown, New Plymouth.
Also served on Gallipoli

Grave: II A 10


Targelle Ravine Cemetery Targelle Ravine Cemetery
Meath Cemetery Meath Cemetery