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Guarbecque Churchyard


Guarbecque is a village in the department of the Pas de Calais, 6 kilometres north-north-east of Lillers on the D94. The cemetery is situated beside the church in the centre of the village.

Location of Commonwealth war graves: From main entrance, one plot of 7 graves will be found against centre of right hand boundary, one plot of 2 graves and 2 single graves are against rear boundary near centre of boundary.

Decimal50.610092.48884 Map
Guarbecque Churchyard

Historical Information

There are now nearly 10, 1914-18 and a small number of 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site.

In May 1940 The Royal Welch Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry fought a holding action at St Venant a few kilometres away.

Guarbecque Churchyard
Guarbecque Churchyard
The village war memorial

The Church

The church is a remarkable building and well worth a few minutes for a look around inside. The entrance door is near the village memorial at the front.

Constructed between 1100 and 1180 it is now a classified building. Apart from its bell tower the interior design is also interesting with a number of frescoes still visible and numerous carvings on the columns.

The wall paintings were only discovered in 1962 when repairs were being carried out and a false ceiling was removed. Probably dating from the 16th Century they depict the Last Judgement and Hell.

On the left hand side of the aisle you will see two 17th Century confessionals whilst on the far side is a stone carving of a lion. You will note that when the sculptor struck a large piece of flint (silex in French) he just left it there.

On the outside wall at the rear you will find an inscription which relates to the Treaty of Arras signed in 1435 between Charles VII of France and Philippe the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

The treaty which broke the alliance between the Burgundians and the English (The Siege of Orleans – Jeanne d’Arc – had been in 1429) marked the end of English hopes in gaining the French crown. Charles would reconquer all the lost territories crushing the English at Castillon in 1453 and so putting an end to the Hundred Years War.

The interior of Guarbecque Church The Last Judgement The garden of Eden Here and there you can still see the original colours
Sapper Arthur Bailey

Sapper Arthur Bailey 224162
476th Field Company
Royal Engineers
Died on 17th April 1918 aged 34
Son of Arthur and Lizzie Bailey,
of 46 Sparsholt Rd, Crouch Hill, London
Born at Islington, London

Grave: 7

Fusilier William Lewis

Fusilier William Lewis 4189549
1st Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers
Died between 24th May 1940 and 24th September 1940

Grave: 3A

Gunner John Salter

Gunner John Salter 233623
ā€œCā€ Battery 177th Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
Died on 14th April 1918 aged 32
Son of Joseph and Rebecca Salter
Husband of Sarah Salter of
79, Westfield Rd, West Ealing, London
Born at Southall, Middx

Grave: 3

Gunner Albert Hutchins

Gunner Albert Hutchins 37796
ā€œCā€ Battery 177th Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
Died on 14th April 1918

Grave: 2

Other cemeteries in the area