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Webmatters : St Venant Communal Cemetery
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St Venant Communal Cemetery

St Venant is a town in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, 15 kilometres north-west of B├ęthune. The Communal Cemetery is 1 kilometre east of the town. Leave the church and head east crossing the main road at the base of the bridge over the river. After 500 metres the car park for the Communal Cemetery is found on the left hand side.

It is also possible to walk along the canal from the town memorials and past the lock to the cemetery.

Decimal50.62452.5554 Map
St Venant Communal Cemetery

Historical Information

From January 1915 to October 1917, British and Indian Casualty Clearing Stations were posted at St. Venant.

In April 1918, in the Battles of the Lys, the Germans advanced half-way between Merville and St. Venant, but the latter town remained in British hands. On the West side of St Venant Communal Cemetery is the Indian Plot (I), used from January to July 1915; behind that is a French Military Plot; and behind the French Plot is Plot II, used from August 1915 to December 1916.

Two British graves are in a civilian plot.

St Venant Communal Cemetery

During the 1939-45 War, St. Venant was the centre of heavy fighting when delaying actions covered the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force to the coast. In fact British troops continued fighting at St Venant after the evacuation of Dunkirk, and 90 or more were buried in a mass grave in a field at St Venant.

The 1939-45 burials are in Plots III and IV.

There are 253 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-18 war, 10 of which are unidentified, and 177 of the 1939-1945 war, 40 of which are unidentified, in this site. The 1939-45 total includes the 90 originally buried in a mass grave and an officer who is commemorated by a special memorial inscribed : Believed to be.

St Venant Communal Cemetery
Private Thomas Boyes

Private Thomas Boyes 3530455
2nd Bn Manchester Regiment
Died on 28th May 1940 aged 17

Grave: IV C 48

Private R Belderson

Private R Belderson 20292
15th Bn Welch Regiment
Died on 19th March 1916 aged 16
Son of Joseph and Hannah Belderson,
of 18, Lenora St, Deane, Bolton, Lancs

Grave: II J 6

Sepoy Bagga Singh

Sepoy Bagga Singh 1971
34th pioneers
Indian Army
Died on 22nd November 1915
Husband of Rakhi, of Baddi Bir, Patiala State

Grave: II H 7

Note that the stone states that he is honoured here — not buried. Followers of the Sikh and Hindu faiths believe in cremation. They still receive a memorial headstone however.

Lieutenant David Gaskell

Lieutenant David Gaskell
16th Bn Welch Regiment
Died on 12th January 1916 aged 22
Son of James and Henrietta Gaskell,
of Eaton Rd, Branksome Park, Bournemouth

Grave: II D 6

Other cemeteries in the area