Warlencourt

Location

Warlencourt British Cemetery lies on the east side of the D929, to the south-east of Warlencourt village and 5 kilometres south-west of Bapaume. CWGC signposts on the D929 give advance warning of arrival at the Cemetery.

Warlencourt British Cemetery

Historical Information

The two villages of Warlencourt and Eaucourt-L'Abbaye as well as the Butte were the scene of very fierce fighting in 1916. Eaucourt was taken by the 47th (London) Division early in October.

The Butte was attacked by that and other Divisions, to whom the graves in this cemetery bear witness, but it was not relinquished by the enemy until the following 26th February.

The 51st (Highland) Division fought a delaying action here on the 25th March 1918, and the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division recaptured the ground on the 25th August 1918.

The cemetery was made late in 1919, by concentrations from the battlefields of Warlencourt and Le Sars. There are now 3,505, 1914-18 Commonwealth war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, 1,823 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 44 soldiers from the United Kingdom, nine from Australia, and two from South Africa, known or believed to be buried among them.

Warlencourt British Cemetery

Looking towards the Butte de Warlencourt

Other special memorials record the names of eight soldiers from the United Kingdom and seven from Australia, buried in Hexham Road Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. There are also 2 Foreign National casualties buried here.

The only considerable burial ground moved into this cemetery was:- Hexham Road Cemetery, Le Sars, on the West side of the Abbey grounds. (Hexham Road was the name given to the road leading from Warlencourt to Eaucourt. Le Sars was captured by the 23rd Division on the 7th October 1916, and again by the Third Army on the 25th August 1918.) Hexham Road Cemetery was used from November 1916, to October 1917.

The cemetery covers an area of 10,300 square metres and is enclosed by a low brick wall on the road front, and on the other three sides by a concrete curb.

Warlencourt British Cemetery
 
Donald  VC

8/3504 Serjeant Donald Brown VC
2nd Bn Otago Regiment, NZEF
Died on 1st October 1916 aged 26
Son of Robert and Jessie Brown, of Wharf St, Oamaru, New Zealand. Native of Dunedin

The London Gazette dated 14th July 1918, No. 30130

For most conspicuous bravery and determination in attack (south-east of High Wood, France, on September 15, 1916), when the company to which he belonged had suffered very heavy casualties in officers and men from machine gun fire. At great personal risk this NCO advanced with a comrade and succeeded in reaching a point within 30 yds. of the enemy guns. Four of the gun crew were killed and the gun captured. The advance of the company was continued until it was again held up by machine gun fire. Again Serjeant Brown and his comrade, with great gallantry, rushed the gun and killed the crew.

After this second position had been won, the company came under very heavy shell fire, and the utter contempt for danger and coolness under fire of this NCO did much to keep up the spirit of his men. On a subsequent occasion in attack, Serjeant Brown showed most conspicuous gallantry. He attacked, single handed, a machine gun which was holding up the attack, killed the gun crew, and captured the gun. Later, whilst sniping the retreating enemy, this very gallant soldier was killed.

Grave: III F 11

 
Private Cyril Benson

Private Cyril Benson 4665
19th Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 14th November 1916 aged 18
Son of Charles and Kate Benson, of Railway St, Chatswood, New South Wales
Native of Narrabri, New South Wales

Just a memory fond and true
To show dear Cyril
I think of you
Mother

Grave: IV A 11

Private R Gibson

Private R Gibson 291648
1/7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
Died on 14th November 1916

Grave: VII D 41

Private Arthur Lewis

Private Arthur Lewis 5039
28th Bn Australian Infantry
Died on 28th February 1917
Son of Joseph and Mary Ann Lewis, of Jarrahdale, Western Australia

Grave: IV J 11

 

The Somme 1916 The Somme 1916