French Military Cemetery

Ambleny French National Cemetery is also known as the Bois Roger after the wood just behind it. To confuse matters though, it and the wood are marked as the Bois Robert on the IGN Maps.

It is situated on the north side of the Compiègne-Soissons main road: the N 31.

This is the largest of the French Military Cemeteries in the Département of the Aisne containing many of those who fell fighting for the Plateau of Confrécourt to the north of the river whilst also acting as a consolidation cemetery for the various smaller cemeteries to the south-west of Soissons.

Amongst the Great War graves there is one Russian and seventy six civilians casualties.

Following the Second World War a further 555 graves from that war were also regrouped here.

The cemetery has a surface of 36 400 sq m and now contains a total of 10 266 burials. There are 8 157 individual graves with a further 3 076 (mostly unknown - inconnu) buried in mass graves.

Originally there were also two British soldiers buried in the cemetery who fell on the 1st April 1918 but they have since been removed to Vauxbuin French Military Cemetery where there is a large CWGC plot.

Vauxbuin Cemetery Vauxbuin Cemetery Ambleny National Cemetery
Auguste Desiré Godey

Auguste Désiré Godey, 14849
Soldat 2è classe, 136è Regiment d'Infantrie
Born on 16 October 1882 in St Lô
He was recruited there in the Class of 1902
He was 35 years old when he was killed
on 8 July 1918 in the Forest of Retz during the build up to General Mangin's great offensive on the 18th July.

Grave: 549

All Frenchmen were liable for military service once they reached twenty years of age. They were formed into classes and this became part of who they were. They served for two years before passing through a system of going into the reserves and then the territorials as they got older.

On the outbreak of war each regiment had its reserve equivalent recognised by the addition of 200 to the regimental number. Thus Auguste's Reserve Regiment would have been the 336è RIR.

It may well be a sign of the shortage of available troops that a Private of his age was serving in a Regular Regiment.

The Forest of Retz The Forest of Retz