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Webmatters : Doulers Communal Cemetery

Doulers Communal Cemetery


Dourlers is a small village on the D33 off the main road N2 between Maubeuge and Avesnes-sur-Helpe. The Communal Cemetery Extension, in the Communal Cemetery in the village, will be found by taking the first right turning coming in from the N2

Decimal50.1774553.941699 Map

Historical Information

Dourlers village was in German hands during almost the whole of the First World War. It was taken on 7 November 1918, after heavy fighting, by the 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 1st KOYLI.

The communal cemetery was used by the Germans during the war, but in November 1918, a small extension was made by Commonwealth troops at the west end.

After the Armistice, the German graves from the communal cemetery and others from the battlefields, together with Commonwealth graves from small cemeteries and isolated positions, were brought into the extension. The extension contains 161 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 14 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to four casualties known or believed to be buried among them.

The extension also contains 108 German burials, 62 of which are unidentified.

Of the Commonwealth graves brought into the extension, 45 came from Limont-Fontaine Communal Cemetery German Extension and 15 from Lancashire Cemetery, St. Hilaire-sur-Helpe.

Amongst those buried here is :

Captain Arthur Lascelles VC MC
3rd Bn Durham Light Infantry
Who died on 7th November 1918 aged 38
Son of John Lascelles
of Milford Hall, Newtown, Mont
Husband of Sophia Lascelles

Grave: II C 24

The London Gazette 30471
8th January 1918

For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty when in command of his company in a very exposed position. After a very heavy bombardment during which Captain Lascelles was wounded, the enemy attacked in strong force but was driven off, success being due in a great degree to the fine example set by this officer, who, refusing to allow his wound to be dressed, continued to encourage his men and organise the defence.

Shortly afterwards the enemy again attacked and captured the trench, taking several of his men prisoners. Captain Lascelles at once jumped on to the parapet and followed by the remainder of his company, 12 men only, rushed across under very heavy machine-gun fire and drove over 60 of the enemy back, thereby saving a most critical situation. He was untiring in reorganising the position, but shortly afterwards the enemy again attacked and captured the trench and Captain Lascelles, who escaped later. The remarkable determination and gallantry of this officer in the course of operations, during which he received two further wounds, afforded an inspiring example to all.